15 May 2014

Youngster involved in spot-fixing scandal named in Roos squad

12:14 pm on 15 May 2014

A little-known 21-year-old English lower league footballer who was recently embroiled in a spot-fixing scandal is a shock selection in Australia's World Cup squad.

The Melbourne-born Preston North End central defender Bailey Wright was among a youthful 30-man Socceroos preliminary squad named on Wednesday by Australia coach Ange Postecoglou for the World Cup finals in Brazil.

In April Wright was one of six Preston North End players arrested and bailed in what has been described as English football's biggest ever spot-fixing investigation.

All players have denied any wrongdoing, and Wright has also been allowed to finish the season with Preston North End, which is on the cusp of being elevated to the Championship.

Postecoglou took over from German Holger Osieck just six months ago and had promised to ease out Australia's ageing 'golden generation' in favour of younger players.

He has selected a provisional party with an average age of 25 for the June 12-July 13 tournament, where Australia have been drawn with world champions Spain, the Netherlands and Chile.


Goalkeepers - Mathew Ryan (Club Bruges), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Mark Birighitti (Newcastle Jets)

Defenders - Curtis Good (Dundee United), Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Bailey Wright (Preston North End), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)

Midfielders - Joshua Brillante (Newcastle Jets), Oliver Bozanic (Luzern), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa, Qatar), James Holland (Austria Vienna), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Dario Vidosic (Sion), Adam Sarota (Utrecht), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), James Troisi (Atalanta), Massimo Luongo (Swindon)

Forwards - Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus), Matthew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt 1899), Tommy Oar (Utrecht), Tomas Rogic (Celtic), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Duesseldorf), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets)