Qantas Young Socceroos continue preparations
Five Hyundai A-League players feature in an 18-player Qantas Young Socceroo squad that will compete next week in the SEA (Southeast Asian) U/20 Football Tournament being held in Malaysia. They will meet Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia in Kuantan.
Five Hyundai A-League players feature in an 18-player Qantas Young Socceroo squad that will compete next week in the SEA (Southeast Asian) U/20 Football Tournament being held in Malaysia.
The Australian team will meet Thailand, Vietnam and host nation Malaysia over five days in Kuantan, with the tournament to serve as final preparation for October-s Asian qualifiers for the 2007 FIFA World Youth Cup.
The Hyundai A-League players are Adelaide United striker Nathan Burns, Queensland Roar striker Dario Vidosic, Newcastle Jets midfielder Tarek Elrich, plus Central Coast Mariners midfield duo, Brad Porter and Oliver Bozanic, the latter of whom is with the club on a short-term contract. Additionally, a number of other players have recently been involved with Hyundai A-League clubs, either on a short-term contract or for training purposes, including Chris Grossman and Robbie Kruse (Queensland Roar), Troy Hearfield (Newcastle Jets) and Bruce Djite (Adelaide United).
“This will be our last camp prior to the World Cup qualifying tournament in India so it will be a very important part of our preparation,” said Qantas Young Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.
“It will also be an ideal dress rehearsal for India given we will face similar weather conditions and also the playing intensity will be similar with a number of matches in a short period of time.”
The Qantas Young Socceroos toured South America last month and were undefeated in their international matches, twice drawing against Chile, as well as earning a scoreless draw against reigning world champions Argentina.
The Australian touring squad is:
Goalkeepers - Mitchell Langerak, Tando Velaphi (both AIS)
Defenders - Steven O-Dor, Peter Eleftherakis, Matthew Spiranovic (all AIS), Sebastian Ryall (NSWIS - New South Wales Institute of Sport)
Midfielders - Shaun Ontong, Jimmy Downey, Evan Berger (all AIS), Chris Grossman (uncontracted), Oliver Bozanic, Brad Porter (both Central Coast Mariners), Tarek Elrich (Newcastle Jets), Troy Hearfield (uncontracted)
Forwards - Bruce Djite (AIS), Nathan Burns (Adelaide United), Dario Vidosic (Queensland Roar), Robbie Kruse (uncontracted)
Striker David Williams, who last season featured for Queensland Roar and is now with Brondby in Denmark, as well as 2005 Qantas Joeys captain Kaz Patafta of Portugal-s Benfica, have not been released by their clubs for the tour. Leicester City midfielder James Wesolowski, who along with Williams was part of last year-s Qantas Socceroo squad at the FIFA World Championship in The Netherlands, will also not make the trip having only recently returned from long-term injury.
The tournament matches are:
September 13: Thailand v Australia (6.30pm local time, 8.30pm AEST) Malaysia v Vietnam
September 15: Australia v Vietnam (6.30pm local time, 8.30pm AEST) Malaysia v Thailand
September 17: Malaysia v Australia (8.45pm local time, 10.45pm AEST) Vietnam v Thailand
The squad will depart on Sunday returning on Tuesday 19 September meaning players will be unavailable for Round 4 of the Hyundai A-League.
Australia are preparing for the AFC U-20 Championship which will take place in India during October and November. The top four teams at the 16-nation tournament will qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada.