All 23 of Turkey’s World Cup heroes will be back on duty when the third-place finishers open their new campaign with friendly against Georgia next Wednesday.

National coach Senol Gunes, a former international goalkeeper, has named a party of 26 players for the match in Trabzon, not far from the border with the former Soviet state. The additional trio are goalkeeper Metin Aktas, defender Cihan Haspolatli and striker Serhat Akin.

All three were pre-selected for the World Cup adventure – in which Turkey lost narrowly to Brazil in the semi-finals – but were omitted from the squad for the tournament.

Turkey, in England’s European Championship group, will then open their qualifying campaign back in Istanbul against Slovakia on September 7.

Goalkeepers: Rustu Recber (Fenerbahce), Omer Catkic (Gaziantepspor), Zafer Ozgultekin (Ankaragucu), Metin Aktas (Trabzonspor);
Defenders: Bulent Korkmaz, Emre Asik, Cihan Haspolatli (all Galatasaray), Abdullah Ercan, Fatih Akyel, Umit Ozat (all Fenerbahce), Alpay Ozalan (Aston Villa);
Midfielders: Ergun Penbe, Hasan Sas, Umit Davala (all Galatasaray), Tayfur Havutcu (Besiktas), Tugay Kerimoglu, Hakan Unsal (Blackburn), Okan Buruk, Emre Belozoglu (Internazionale), Yildiray Basturk (Bayer Leverkusen), Muzzy Izzet (Leicester City);
Forwards: Arif Erdem (Galatasaray), Serhat Akin (Fenerbahce), Ilhan Mansiz, Nihat Kahveci (Besiktas), Hakan Sukur (Parma).
By Keir Radnedge

Kelsey Media Ltd
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