Qantas Under 23 squad announced
The Qantas Under 23 squad that will open the qualifying campaign for the 2008 Olympic games has today been announced by Football Federation Australia. The 23-strong squad has been selected for the first qualifying match against Chinese Taipei to be played in Adelaide on February 7.
The Qantas Under 23 squad that will open the qualifying campaign for the 2008 Olympic games has today been announced by Football Federation Australia.
The 23-strong squad has been selected for the first qualifying match against Chinese Taipei to be played in Adelaide on February 7.
The squad features predominately Hyundai A-League players with the only exceptions being Danish-based striker David Williams and former Perth Glory midfielder Billy Celeski.
A number of players who appeared for the Qantas Young Socceroos late last year have been selected including Adelaide United striking duo Nathan Burns and Bruce Djite, Perth Glory goalkeeper Tando Velaphi, Queensland Roar striker Dario Vidosic and Williams.
“Our recent camp in Canberra was fruitful and the players are working well together as a group which gives us a solid base going into the opening match against Chinese Taipei,” said FFA Technical Director and Qantas Under 23 coach Robert Baan.
“We don-t know a great deal about Chinese Taipei and though we will be focusing primarily on our own preparation we will certainly not be underestimating our opponents.”
“The players are also looking forward to playing at home and receiving strong and vocal support in Adelaide.”
The squad will commence camp in Adelaide from Monday with players that are participating in the Hyundai A-League Finals Series to be released for matches.
The Qantas Under 23s squad for match against Chinese Taipei in Adelaide on February 7:
Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory), Mark Bridge (Newcastle United Jets), Nathan Burns (Adelaide United), Billy Celeski (Bulleen Zebras, Victoria), Robert Cornthwaite (Adelaide United), Adam D'Apuzzo (Newcastle United Jets), Spase Dilevski (Queensland Roar), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Ben Griffin (Queensland Roar), Labinot Haliti (Newcastle United Jets), Ben Kennedy (Newcastle United Jets), Vince Lia (Melbourne Victory), Adrian Leijer (Melbourne Victory), David Micevski (Perth Glory), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC), Stuart Musialik (Newcastle United Jets), Kristian Sarkies (Melbourne Victory), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Sydney FC), Tando Velaphi (Perth SC), Dario Vidosic (Queensland Roar), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), David Williams (Brondby, Denmark), Ruben Zadkovich (Sydney FC)
Following the match a squad will be selected to travel to Chinese Taipei for the second leg of the play-off which will be held on February 14.
Should Australia defeat Chinese Taipei over the two matches, the team will progress to Group D of Round 2 qualification alongside Iran, Saudi Arabia and also Jordan who have been guaranteed their place in the group following the withdrawal of Kyrgyzstan.
The first match against Iran is scheduled to be played away on February 28. Prior to that the team will be based in Dubai and also Hong Kong where they will play two matches as part of the Lunar New Year tournament.
The 24-team second round qualifying, which has been split into six groups of four, runs through February 28 to June 6, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the final round to be played in three groups of four teams each.
The final home and away round will be held from August 22 - November 21, with the three group winners representing Asia at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Round 1 (Home) Wednesday 7 February 2007 Qantas U23 v Chinese Taipei Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, 7.30pm ACDT (Information regarding ticketing for the match will be released next week)
Round 1 (Away) Wednesday 14 February 2007 Chinese Taipei v Qantas U23 Chungshan Soccer Stadium, Taipei