Bristol City captain Bailey Wright has been cut from Australia’s World Cup squad and will not participate with the team in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in Russia this year.
Wright has been a regular qualifier for Australia’s 26-man squad in the past, playing in 12 of the Socceroos’ qualifying games but has been discarded before the team will travel to Turkey for a three week training camp.
Australian coach Bert van Berwijk made the call to cut Wright in his process to trim the 32-man sheet to 26.
Additional omissions to the Australian squad included Hibernian FC star Jamie Maclaren, goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, Cypriot forward Apostolos Giannou, alongside defenders Alex Gersbach and Aleks Susnjar.
“It is always a challenging task to reduce a squad, however this is the nature of professional sport at the highest level,” van Marwijk told bristolpost.co.uk.
“Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against Czech Republic in Austria.”
The 25-year-old had previously suited up for Australia in the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil after being selected for the 23-man squad.
“To have an experience of a World Cup is something you can’t really put into words,” Wright told
“After getting a taste of it in Brazil, now I want to go one step further.
“I want to play in a World Cup and win. The aim is to stay fit and stay prepared and be part of the squad that goes to Russia.”
The squad will be cut for the final time to a 23-man squad by June 3 and van Merwijk believes that he has named a strong squad and are poised for success.
“Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against Czech Republic in Austria,” van Merwijk told the Herald Sun.
“I am sure that in training in Antalya, and in our match against the Czech Republic, we will see players pushing to go to a higher level as they compete for a place in the final squad.”
The Socceroos will face France, Peru and Denmark in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.