A-League: In-demand Dimi Petratos closes in on Socceroos spot for World Cup

HIGH FIVE: Jets midfielder Dimi Petratos has been selected in a 26-man Socceroos squad for a pre World Cup camp in Turkey, starting Sunday. Picture: AAP
HIGH FIVE: Jets midfielder Dimi Petratos has been selected in a 26-man Socceroos squad for a pre World Cup camp in Turkey, starting Sunday. Picture: AAP

DIMI Petratos is on the verge of World Cup selection, was second in the Johnny Warren Medal presented to the A-League player of the year and dominated the Jets’ club awards.

It’s little wonder the Jets want to tie him down to a long-term deal.

Petratos has another year on his contract, but the Jets are keen to extend his stay. A new deal is likely to include an upgrade for next season.

“It is certainly something we are looking at,” Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said. “We have spoken to his agent. The feedback was positive but with the grand final taking priority, we left it at that.”

Petratos and former Jets teammate Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds) have been selected in a 26-man Socceroos squad for a World Cup training camp in Turkey starting this weekend.

The pair made their national team debuts against Noway in March and impressed coach Bert van Marwijk with their versatility and technical ability.

They will get another chance to press their claims for a ticket to Russia during an intense two-week camp which includes a friendly against the Czech Republic in Vienna on June 1.

The final 23-man squad for Russia will be named on June 3. 

“Dimi has always showed potential but has lacked that consistency,” McKinna said. “This season under Ernie Merrick he has been fantastic. The Newcastle environment has been good for him. Same with Andrew. It is great for the club and proves we have an environment where boys can realise their potential.”

Defender Bailey Wright and in-form Hibernian hit man Jamie Maclaren were the biggest names to miss out on the training squad.

Tim Cahil insists there was no sentimentality behind his selection and said he will be "driving even harder" to book his spot at a fourth World Cup in Russia.

“I don't feel any player has a given right - regardless of what you've done in your past - to think they've got that seat on the plane to Russia,” Cahill said. “I'll be leaving no stone unturned because football is my life."

Cahill is currently in the US and will join the rest of the squad in Turkey next week.

Socceroos 26- man squad

Goalkeepers: Brad Jones, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic

Defenders: Aziz Behich, Josh Brillante, Milos Degenek, Fran Karacic, Matt Jurman, James Meredith, Mark Milligan, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury

Midfielders: Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy, Petratos, Tom Rogic, James Troisi

Forwards: Daniel Arzani, Cahill, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mat Leckie, Nabbout, Nikita Rukavytsya.

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