Qantas Under 23s Ready for Jordan
Qantas Under 23s coach Rob Baan has drafted Turkish-based fullback Ersan Gulum into the Australian squad for the team’s final Group D qualifying match against Jordan in on Wednesday night (Thursday morning Aust time).
Qantas Under 23s coach Rob Baan has drafted Turkish-based fullback Ersan Gulum into the Australian squad for the team-s final Group D qualifying match against Jordan in on Wednesday night (Thursday morning Aust time). Originally from Melbourne the 20-year-old uncapped Gulum is currently with First Division club Vestel Manisaspor having been in Turkey for the last two years.
Baan though will be without the services of Melbourne Victory midfielder Leigh Broxham and possibly Adelaide United-s Kristian Sarkies with both players struck down by illness with Sarkies fitness to be assessed at the team-s final training session on Tuesday.
The Qantas Under 23s require one point from the match to ensure progression to the third and final stage of qualifying which commences in August. Australia are on eight points, three ahead of Iran who host Saudi Arabia with the two matches being played simultaneously. Saudi Arabia on 12 points have already qualified while Jordan on two points are out of contention.
The squad assembled in Abu Dhabi a week ago playing a training match against Al Jazeera before moving to Amman in Jordan on Sunday.
“The players have trained very well especially over the last few days so I-m happy with our preparation and also that our European based players are mostly available,” said Baan.
“We do though have some concerns about the state of the pitch and also the fact that a match is being on the pitch immediately prior to our fixture.”
Iraq will meet South Korea at the same venue a few hours prior to the match with the Iraqis playing home matches in Jordan throughout the qualifying series.
The third stage features 12 teams split into three groups and will be held from August 22 - November 21, with only the three group winners representing Asia at the Beijing Olympic Games.
The 19-man squad in Jordan is:
Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory), Nathan Burns (Adelaide United), Adam Casey (Sydney FC), Adam D'Apuzzo (Newcastle Jets), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Aaron Downes (Chesterfield, England), Ersan Gulum (Vestel Manisaspor, Turkey), Troy Hearfield (Newcastle Jets), Neil Kilkenny (Birmingham City, England), Adrian Leijer (Melbourne Victory), Trent McClenahan (Hereford United, England), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC), Kristian Sarkies (Adelaide United), Tando Velaphi (Perth Glory), Dario Vidosic (Queensland Roar), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), Nick Ward (QPR, England), David Williams (Brondby, Denmark), Ruben Zadkovich (Sydney FC)
Fixtures:- Round 2 - Match Day 1 - (Away) Wednesday 28 February 2007 Iran v Australia 0-0 Tehran
Round 2 - Match Day 2 - (Home) Wednesday 14 March 2007 Australia v Jordan 1-1 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 3 - (Home) Wednesday 28 March 2007 Australia v Saudi Arabia 2-0 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 4 - (Away) Wednesday 18 April 2007 Saudi Arabia v Australia 2-1 Dammam City
Round 2 - Match Day 5 - (Home) Wednesday 16 May 2007 Australia v Iran 3-1 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 6 - (Away) Wednesday 6 June 2007 Jordan v Australia Amman