Milligan named captain of Qantas Under 23's
Sydney FC’s Mark Milligan has been announced as captain of the Qantas Under 23s as the team completes final preparations for the opening match of the Olympic qualifying campaign against Chinese Taipei tomorrow at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide.
Sydney FC-s Mark Milligan has been announced as captain of the Qantas Under 23s as the team completes final preparations for the opening match of the Olympic qualifying campaign against Chinese Taipei tomorrow at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide.
Milligan who can play in midfield or defence has already been capped four times at senior level and was the youngest member of the Qantas Socceroo squad at last year-s FIFA World Cup in Germany.
“It-s a great honour to play for your country, let alone be given the captain-s armband, so I‘m very proud and am looking forward to leading the team out,” said Milligan.
“Adelaide are great football supporters and Hindmarsh Stadium is a great football venue so hopefully fans will come out in force and get behind the Australian team.”
In other team news, Billy Celeski and David Micevski have returned to their home cities for injury treatment while Steven O-Dor is unavailable due to a calf strain. The only other player missing the from the original squad is Newcastle Jets- striker Mark Bridge who has remained in Newcastle to receive treatment for injury.
The 18-man Qantas Under 23s squad for the match against Chinese Taipei in Adelaide tomorrow is:
Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory), Nathan Burns (Adelaide United), Robert Cornthwaite (Adelaide United), Adam D'Apuzzo (Newcastle Jets), Spase Dilevski (Queensland Roar), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Ben Griffin (Queensland Roar), Ben Kennedy (Newcastle Jets), Vince Lia (Melbourne Victory), Adrian Leijer (Melbourne Victory), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC), Stuart Musialik (Newcastle Jets), Kristian Sarkies (Melbourne Victory), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Sydney FC), Dario Vidosic (Queensland Roar), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), David Williams (Brondby, Denmark), Ruben Zadkovich (Sydney FC)
Round 1 (Home)
Wednesday 7 February 2007
Australia v Chinese Taipei Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, 7pm ACDT (Gates Open 5.30pm)
Round 1 (Away)
Wednesday 14 February 2007
Chinese Taipei v Australia Chungshan Soccer Stadium, Taipei, kick-off TBC
All sales are via VenueTix from 9am (ACDT) Friday 2 February Ph - 08 8225 8888 Web - www.venuetix.com.au
Category A - Adult - $20.00 - Child/Concession - $10.00 - Family - $40.00
Category B - Adult - $10.00 - Child/Concession - $7.50 - Family - $20.00
Web: The Football Federation Australia will have regular live updates throughout the match - www.footballaustralia.com.au (Simply click on the Promo link on the home page).
Australian Olympics football history
Australia and Chinese Taipei have never met at Under-23 level, however at senior level the two nations have played on 12 occasions with Australia recording 11 wins and one draw.
An Australian men-s team has played in six Olympics finals tournaments. Australia qualified as hosts twice (1956 & 2000), and in its four attempts via normal qualification, has never failed to qualify. In attempting to qualify for the 2008 Olympics - for the first time through Asia - Australia will be aiming to compete in the Olympic Games for the sixth time in succession, and seventh time overall.
1956 - Host nation Australia won its historic first Olympic games match 2-0 over Japan at Melbourne-s Olympic Park, but were knocked out following a 2-4 loss to India in the second round.
1988 - Australia won the Oceania qualifying tournament to qualify for Seoul ‘88, where the Socceroos were placed in a very difficult group - with 1984 Olympic Bronze medalists Yugoslavia, perennial favourites Brazil and Nigeria. A sensational first-up win against Yugoslavia was followed by a loss to Brazil, however another win against the Nigerians ensured a quarter final berth - which was lost to the USSR.
1992 - For the first time, the 1992 Olympics was established as an under 23 format. Oceania group winners Australia qualified for Barcelona with a last gasp away goals win against sixth-placed UEFA team Holland. Australia qualified for the knock-out stage after finishing second in a group with Ghana, Mexico and Denmark, and following a quarter-final victory over Sweden, lost in the semi-final stage to Poland. They then lost the match for the bronze medal against Ghana.
1996 - Australia qualified for Atlanta '96 after easily taking out the Oceania group, and then thrashing second-placed CONCACAF team Canada. Following a loss to France and a win against Saudi Arabia, the Aussies were 2-0 up in its final Olympics group game and was set to progress, until opponents Spain scored three with no reply to instead secure the quarter-final berth.
2000- Despite high expectations and a long, 60-match preparation period, Australia disappointingly lost all three matches of its Sydney 2000 campaign, going down 1-0 to Italy in the opening event of the Olympics, which was followed by a 3-2 defeat by Nigeria and a 2-1 loss to Honduras.
2004 - Oceania U-23 champions Australia qualified automatically to the Olympics for the first time. Australia-s 2004 Athens Olympics campaign was highlighted by a 5-1 thrashing of Serbia/Montenegro and with a draw against Tunisia and a loss to Argentina, a quarter-final berth against Iraq ensued - where Australia was unlucky not to score an equaliser, losing 1-0 against a determined Asian opponent.