Wilkshire axed, Schwarzer quits Socceroos
The axing of defenders Luke Wilkshire and Sasa Ognenovski, and the retirement of Mark Schwarzer, send warnings to an ageing core in the first Socceroos' squad picked by new coach Ange Postecoglou.
Schwarzer, Australia's most-capped player, quit international soccer hours before Postecoglou on Wednesday announced a 22-man squad for a friendly against Costa Rica on November 19.
Schwarzer was set to be included in the squad but decided to end his decorated 109-game international career, leaving 25-year-old Mitch Langerak as frontrunner for the goalkeeping role.
But Wilkshire, 32, and Ognenovski, 34, face an uncertain future after being snubbed by Postecoglou.
Captain Lucas Neill was retained, along with fellow stalwart Mark Bresciano, as Postecoglou took a measured first step on the path to regenerating the Socceroos.
But all face pressure to extend their international careers to next year's World Cup in Brazil, with Neill battling to keep the captaincy from likely replacement Tim Cahill.
Postecoglou selected a squad with a notable A-League flavour by picking Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Matt McKay (Roar), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory) and Michael Zullo (Adelaide United).
"I'm excited by the squad we have named," Postecoglou said.
"The first task is to have a good look at the bulk of the players who played a significant part in qualifying Australia for the 2014 World Cup and also giving opportunities to players I think have the ability to improve the team.
"I want to give every Australian player the best opportunity to stake a claim for Brazil and beyond."
Postecoglou was appointed on an unprecedented five-year contract after German-born coach Holger Osieck was sacked last month after consecutive 6-0 away defeats to Brazil and France.
Oliver Bozanic, Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Ivan Franjic, James Holland, Mile Jedinak, Josh Kennedy, Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak, Matthew Leckie, Ryan McGowan, Matthew McKay, Mark Milligan, Lucas Neill, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan, Dario Vidosic, Rhys Williams, Alex Wilkinson, Michael Zullo.