MELBOURNE (Reuters) - New Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has dumped seasoned defender Luke Wilkshire following the surprise retirement of veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on Wednesday, and declined to name a captain in his squad to play Costa Rica in two weeks.
Postecoglou, who replaced sacked coach Holger Osieck eight months out from the World Cup, has retained embattled defender Lucas Neill, but the under-pressure 35-year-old faces a battle to keep the captain’s armband he has worn since 2006.
Postecoglou said he had initially named Schwarzer in his 22-man squad for the November 19 clash against Costa Rica in Sydney, but the 41-year-old had informed him he no longer wanted to play on.
Borussia Dortmund’s Mitch Langerak and Belgium-based Mat Ryan were the two keepers named in Postecoglou’s squad, which retains the core of the ageing roster that sealed qualification for a third consecutive World Cup.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford