Petratos joins World Cup pre-tournament training camp

Newcastle Jets’ midfielder, Dimi Petratos has taken another important step on the road to Russia, being named in Bert van Marwijk’s 26-player squad for Australia’s pre-tournament training camp in Antalya, Turkey.

The training camp will also feature an international friendly match against the Czech Republic in St. Polten, Austria on Friday 1 June.

Petratos’ selection is just reward for an outstanding season in the red and blue, which saw him clean-sweep the club’s annual awards and draw plaudits from across the league.

20 of the 26 players bound for Turkey have featured in the Hyundai A-League at some stage in their careers, with five current players – Arzani (Melbourne City FC), Joshua Brillante (Sydney FC), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), and James Troisi (Melbourne Victory) – all vying for a place in Australia’s final 23-player squad for Russia.

Socceroos Head Coach Bert van Marwijk eliminated six players at this stage of the process, saying his decision was a difficult task.

“It is always a challenging task to reduce a squad, however this is the nature of professional sport at the highest level,” said van Marwijk.

“Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against Czech Republic in Austria.”

“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,” he said.

The final 23-man squad will be announced in Turkey on Sunday 3 June.