- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Australia has retained veterans Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano while recalling Nikolai Topor-Stanley to the squad for the first time in six years and selecting uncapped striker Bernie Ibini for friendlies next month in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The 23-man Australia squad contains a slew of changes from the teams that played recent friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Belgium, with Robbie Kruse, Carl Valeri, Bailey Wright and Ben Halloran missing out.

Coach Ange Postecoglou said he wanted to give a broader range of players international experience ahead of hosting next year’s Asian Cup.

Western Sydney Wanderers defender Topor-Stanley, who played twice for Australia in 2008, is likely to get another chance against the UAE on Oct. 10 or Qatar on Oct. 14. Australia will play defending Asian Cup champion Japan at Osaka on Nov. 18.

“These two games give us a few more to throw into the mix with an experienced core group of players to see how they cope with the training intensity and the demands of international football before we start monitoring them all leading into the Japan match,” Postecoglou said. “We will be in a position to select a settled squad for the Japan match, which will offer a strong indication of where we are at leading into the Asian Cup.”

The squad contains four players from the domestic A-League and 14 survivors from the World Cup squad. While New York Red Bulls midfielder Cahill has73 caps and Qatar-based Bresciano has 79, the rest of the squad has limited international exposure. Nine players have five or fewer international caps.

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Australia squad: Squad: Aziz Behich, Mark Bresciano, Josh Brilliante, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Adam Federici, Ivan Franjic, Chris Herd, James Holland, Bernie Ibini, Mile Jedinak, Tomi Juric, Mitch Langerak, Matthew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, James Troisi, Alex Wilkinson.

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