Save articles for later
Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.
Massimo Luongo is set to reap the rewards of his second coming at English Championship high-flyers Ipswich Town with a first Socceroos call-up in almost five years.
Graham Arnold will on Thursday morning name his squad to play England at Wembley Stadium and New Zealand in Brentford on October 14 and 18, respectively – a major international window in the build-up to January’s Asian Cup. And a familiar name from the past is expected to feature among a host of regulars.
Luongo was synonymous with the Socceroos years ago, having been named player of the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia’s home triumph under Ange Postecoglou. But injury and fitness issues have kept the midfielder out of national team calculations since his 43rd cap – in January 2019 during Australia’s Asian Cup campaign under Arnold in the UAE.
Arnold has been keeping a close eye on Luongo since his resurgence at Sheffield Wednesday, and has found his full renaissance at Ipswich irresistible.
The 31-year-old has thrived under manager Kieran McKenna, who oversaw an unexpected promotion to the Championship with an enterprising, attacking style, and displayed signs of the player who was longlisted for the 2015 Ballon d’Or.
On Tuesday the club, for whom he plays alongside new Scotland-born Socceroos defender Cam Burgess, returned to the top of table with a 3-0 victory over Hull City. They have now won eight of their 10 games this season.
Massimo Luongo celebrates with Robbie Kruse after scoring in the Asian Cup final against South Korea at Stadium Australia in 2015.Credit: Reuters
The imminent selection shapes as one of numerous important calls Arnold will make as he prepares the Socceroos to play Gareth Southgate’s England at London’s iconic venue. He then faces New Zealand, with the recently recovered Soccer Ashes on the line for the first time since 1954.
A name that won’t be on the team sheet is that of Tom Rogic, who has not figured in international calculations for some time but this week confirmed his retirement at the age of 30.
The former Celtic playmaker, long seen as one of Australia’s brightest talents, announced via Instagram he would prioritise his family after revealing his wife is expecting twins following “struggles and heartache with fertility treatment”.
“I have always been rather private with things in my personal life but I feel, given the significance, I think it is important for people to understand why and how I have made my decision,” said Rogic, who returned to Australia after being released by West Bromwich Albion.
Tom Rogic has announced his retirement.Credit: Getty
“Throughout the past seven years, my wife and I have been on an immensely challenging journey with fertility issues. After years of trying and many failed rounds of IVF, my wife and I were fortunate enough to welcome the birth of our daughter in 2021. I have loved every minute of being a dad and consider it my greatest achievement in life.
“After experiencing some more struggles and heartache with fertility treatment, we have recently received the amazing news that our family is growing and we will be expecting twins in 2024.
“Given our past and how hard we have fought for this, along with the challenges that will come with having twins and a two-year-old, now seems like the right time to give my focus and attention to what is the most important thing in my life – my family.”
Watch every match of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League on Stan Sport. All the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand, with select matches in 4K UHD.
Sports news, results and expert commentary. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.
Most Viewed in Sport
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article