Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced the Qantas Australian Under 23s squad selection for next month’s AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympic Games will be limited to three players per club.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced the Qantas Australian Under 23s squad selection for next month-s AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympic Games will be limited to three players per club.
The voluntary limit has been put in place by FFA following extensive consultations with Hyundai A-League clubs affected by player call ups for the Qantas Australian Under 23s.
The Under 23s play Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Sunday 5 February and the United Arab Emirates in Al Ain on Wednesday 22 February.
“The impact on the A-League clubs is something we always take into consideration when developing the under-age national teams program,” said FFA National Technical Director, Han Berger.
“In this case, Aurelio Vidmar is confident he can select a very strong squad within the limits of using no more than three players per club.
“As a result, the A-League clubs can plan with some certainty for the period when the players will be away for these very important Olympic qualification matches.”
In addition, the travel plans for the Qantas Australian Under 23s have been adjusted in the interests of player welfare. This will enable A-League players selected for the February matches to play for their club in Week 17 matches (26 January - 29 January) before departing for Tashkent.
The provisional plan was for two separate trips away for the February matches, with the players returning to their A-League clubs in between.
“Having considered all the options, we believe the long-haul flights should be minimised by having one trip away to take in the two matches,” said Berger.
“This is in the best interests of the players- health and well-being and it-s also in the clubs- best interests . The players will now be available for Week 17 matches due to the slightly later departure for Tashkent and will return to their clubs in better condition because of the reduced travel.
“The new travel plans don-t extend the time the players are away from their clubs, it just makes the trip in one block of days rather than two separate blocks.
“I would like to thank all the A-League coaches and football directors involved in this planning. The logistics are never easy in these circumstances, but I believe we now have the best outcome possible.”
Aurelio Vidmar is expected to name his 18-player squad on 16 January. FFA continues to talk with European and Asian clubs about the release of eligible Australian players. The AFC Asian qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympic Games are not scheduled on FIFA dates reserved for international fixtures, meaning overseas clubs are under no formal obligation to release players.