Qantas U23s squad named for Olympic Qualifiers
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today received confirmation from FIFA that the Qantas U23s’ upcoming Preliminary Round 2 matches of the 2012 London Olympics Asian Qualifiers will be played at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford and Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle on Sunday 19 June and Thursday 23 June respectively.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today received confirmation from FIFA that the Qantas U23s- upcoming Preliminary Round 2 matches of the 2012 London Olympics Asian Qualifiers will be played at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford and Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle on Sunday 19 June and Thursday 23 June respectively.
The circumstances that led to this decision being made began from 30 March when the draw was conducted at AFC house. When it was learned that the Qantas U23s were to face Yemen in the two-legged fixture, FFA received advice from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that it was not advisable to travel to Yemen due to the exceptional security concerns currently associated with travel to that country. Due to this advice, FFA made an offer to the Yemen FA for FFA to host both matches in Australia, which the Yemen FA agreed to. This mutual agreement was then subsequently ratified by FIFA.
Qantas U23s Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar was very pleased that a satisfactory resolution had been made in regard to the scheduling of these important matches.
“Obviously we are really happy with this outcome in light of the current situation in Yemen,” said Vidmar.
“It was always our preference to play both matches in Australia to avoid unnecessary travel where possible.
“FFA has done a tremendous job in negotiating this outcome and we thank Yemen for agreeing to this offer.
In addition, Vidmar today also announced his 21-player squad that will be involved in these two matches.
Led by Central Coast local Oliver Bozanic, 17 members of the squad recently toured Japan to play a friendly match against the Japanese U-22 National Team in Niigata.
Scottish-based midfielder Aaron Mooy is an addition to the squad along with Qantas Young Socceroos Mustafa Amini, Kofi Danning and goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.
Vidmar believes that the squad that he has selected will be able to get the result need to progress to the next stage of the competition.
“I was really pleased with elements of our recent trip to Japan, but there are still parts to work on.
“Aaron Mooy comes into the squad to help bolster our midfield, Mark Birighitti was a late inclusion for Alex Cisak who got injured recently and Musti and Kofi were added to give us a couple of extra creative and attacking options.
“We will have a good week in camp with a training match against Singapore I believe that we will be ready for Yemen.
The Qantas U23s need to win these two matches on aggregate to progress to the next round of qualification which sees the 12 winners from Round 2 divided into three groups of four teams each.
The teams in each group will then play in a home-and-away format from 21 September 2011, to 14 March 14, 2012, with the winner of each group directly qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games Football competition.
The three second-placed teams from the third round will clash in a playoff at a centralised venue from March 25 to 29, 2012, and the winners of this group will meet the representatives of CAF (Africa) for a berth in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Qantas U23s will assemble in camp on Friday 10 June and will play a behind closed doors training match against Singapore on Sunday 12 June in the lead up to their two matches against Yemen.
Ticketing details for the Preliminary Round 2 - 2012 London Olympic Games Asian Qualification Matches between the Qantas Olyroos and Yemen will be announced shortly.
Qantas U23s Squad List Preliminary Round 2 - 2012 London Olympic Games Asian Qualification Matches - 19 & 23 June 2011
Mustafa Amini - Central Coast Mariners Aziz Behich - Melbourne Heart Mark Birighitti (gk) - Adelaide United Dean Bouzanis (gk) - uncontracted Oliver Bozanic - Central Coast Mariners Isaka Cernak - Melbourne Victory Kofi Danning - uncontracted Diogo Ferreira - Melbourne Victory Matthew Foschini - Melbourne Victory Jason Hoffman - Melbourne Heart Marko Jesic - Newcastle Jets Matthew Jurman - Brisbane Roar Ryan McGowan - Hearts FC, Scotland Tahj Minniecon - Gold Coast United Aaron Mooy - St Mirren, Scotland Scott Neville - Perth Glory Mitch Nichols - Brisbane Roar Mirjan Pavlovic - Wellington Phoenix Andrew Redmayne (gk) - Brisbane Roar Sebastian Ryall - Sydney FC Rocco Visconte - Brisbane Roar
As at 6 June 2011
Upcoming Match Details
Qantas U23s v Singapore 12 June 2011 Training Match - No Public Access. Media access only Bluetongue Stadium Kick Off: 2:00pm
First leg - Preliminary round 2 of 2012 London Olympics Asian Qualifiers Qantas U23s v Yemen Sunday 19 June 2011 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Kick-off - 3:00pm
Second leg - Preliminary round 2 of 2012 London Olympics Asian Qualifiers Qantas U23s v Yemen Thursday 23 June 2011 Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle Kick Off - 6.30pm
Ticketing details to be announced shortly. See www.footballaustralia.com.au/tickets