Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is excited at the prospect of blooding new players.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is excited at the prospect of blooding new players. MICK TSIKAS

Ange puts young defenders on trial

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has promised to hand debuts to a couple more rising stars as he continues to build towards the World Cup qualifying campaign in September.

Defenders Alex Gersbach and Jason Geria look set to be the next players off the production line as Australia faces up to Greece in two friendlies - tonight at ANZ Stadium in Sydney and Tuesday night at the MCG in Melbourne.

Milos Degenek impressed as a substitute in his first game for the Socceroos in the 2-1 defeat to England and Postecoglou said the chance to hand Socceroos jerseys to more players for the first time raised the heckles.

"I definitely am (excited)," he said.

"Part of the process for us is to continually look for players who can add to what we're doing.

"We've got two or three around the squad who are probably itching for a chance themselves and it'll be a good test for them.

"We'll have a couple (of debutants) over the next two games and I am excited by that.

"There is always the possibility that we may unearth a player that will add to what we're doing."

Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak said the next two games - the final matches before the next stage of qualifying for Russia 2018 - were another learning curve and said the team would have confidence in any new player. Whoever gets the nod tomorrow will have everyone's support," he said.

Postecoglou (pictured), who was born in Greece but came to Australia as a boy, said he was expecting a tough couple of games from a side which disappointed by failing to qualify for Euro 2016.

"They've become a little more aggressive, particularly in a defensive sense," Postecoglou said. "Which is great and it's exactly what we need.

"Just look at their players, and where they play, you know it's a good-quality opponent.

"And I actually think it'll be an exciting game for the supporters.

"I've a feeling it'll be a game that gets people off their seats."

Greece's new coach, Michael Skibbe, who took over from Sergio Markarián in October, said the two games against Australia would give him a chance to look at players ahead of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

"We have to find our self confidence for the (World Cup) qualifiers starting in September," the German said.

"Until this period I have to find the right players to build a team which is going to Russia."



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