Luke Wilkshire names best Socceroos XI with Cahill and Viduka upfront

During his decade with the Socceroos, Luke Wilkshire served under six different head coaches, from Frank Farina in 2004 -- when he made his debut at the OFC Nations Cup -- to Ange Postecoglou in 2014 when he was unexpectedly cut from the World Cup squad at a pre-tournament camp in Brazil.

In between, he played for Graham Arnold, Pim Verbeek and Holger Osieck under captains that included Craig Moore, Mark Viduka, Lucas Neill and Mile Jedinak.

With 80 caps accumulated across two World Cups and two Asian Cups -- not to mention countless qualifying matches and friendlies -- the 33-year-old utility is well placed to pick his best XI, based on players with whom he's shared the Australian dressing room. We've suggested that he pick himself at right-back.

It was an era when the Golden Generation gave way to Ange's aspirants, culminating with the Socceroos' breakthrough 2015 AFC Asian Cup win, beating South Korea in January's final in Sydney.

Not surprisingly, Wilkshire leans heavily towards the successful Germany 2006 team, who remain the only Australian side to progress past the group stages of a World Cup, and appoints Dutch maestro Guus Hiddink as head coach.

But he has given a nod to the new generation, with the inclusion of two Asian Cup winners on the bench.

Here is Wilkshire's selection, played in a 4-4-2 formation.

Goalkeeper: Mark Schwarzer

"No question that 'Schwarzy' should make it. He was there the longest and was my right hand man for so many years in the national team."

Central defenders: Lucas Neill and Craig Moore (C)

"Lucas was a great player and leader, who spoke so well on the field. 'Moorey' was composed and read the game beautifully. It's a close thing but 'Moorey' gets the captaincy because he's older."

Fullbacks: Scott Chipperfield and Luke Wilkshire

"Chippers was a quiet, no-nonsense guy, with a fantastic engine who just got on with the game, and had a great left foot."

Central midfielders: Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano

"Vinny was like a rock who kept it simple and read the game well. 'Bresc' had quality and vision, with great passes and set-pieces."

Wingers: Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton

"Harry was one of those special players who doesn't come around often. He had a great left foot and could also run past people. 'Emo' had unbelievable stamina because he could run and run. We enjoyed playing together on the right and would cover for each other if one of us got forward."

Strikers: Mark Viduka and Tim Cahill

"'Dukes' was a gentle giant with incredible footwork who was our captain at the 2006 World Cup. When you got the ball into him, you knew that no-one would get it off him. Timmy is a goal machine who just needs a sniff and he'll score. He's one of the few people who heads the ball better than he kicks it!"

Bench: Mat Ryan (GK), Josh Kennedy, John Aloisi, Mark Milligan, Brett Holman and Kevin Muscat

"'Millsy' has turned into a really good midfielder and while I didn't get to play much with Maty Ryan, he deserves a place on the bench for helping Australia win the Asian Cup."

Coach: Guus Hiddink

"Guus was such a good coach. He knows how to motivate players and bring out the best in them. When he gave me the opportunity [at Germany 2006] it was a major career turning point."

Wilkshire added, when asked to sum up his Socceroo years: "We really bonded as a group. It was a special time and I have such fond memories of the guys I played with.

"It was such a pleasure to catch up with every one in camp, to have coffees and enjoy our time together. It was like a family."