Adelaide United FC midfielder Jake Barker-Daish if off to Indonesia for the AFC U-22 Qualification Tournament next month after he was named in the Qantas Young Socceroos (Australian U-20) squad.
Barker-Daish, who signed a two year deal with the Reds back in April, was selected in a 23-player squad by Qantas Young Socceroos Coach Paul Okon to compete in the tournament, which is being used as a lead up to the AFC U-19 Championships in the UAE in November.
The 19 year old has been a regular figure in the Qantas Young Socceroos setup over the past 12 months and attended a camp organised by Okon last month to bring the group together and gauge players’ fitness levels as the majority have either been in their off season or are only early into their pre season program with their respective clubs.
Despite the limited preparation coupled with the Reds’ squad currently being on annual leave, Barker-Daish has been keeping himself fit while at home in Melbourne and believes the squad that has been selected has the ability to perform well in the tournament.
“Keeping fit has probably been the toughest part because a lot of us have been in off season,” Barker-Daish said.
“But a lot of players in the squad are on senior A-League contracts now so I think everyone is well prepared.”
Of the 23 players selected, 17 are currently contracted to Hyundai A-League clubs. Although the upcoming tournament is for U-22 players, Football Federation Australia took the decision to field the Qantas Young Socceroos (U-20 players) in the competition as part of their preparations for the AFC U-19 Championship, which will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in Turkey next June/July.
The Qantas Young Socceroos squad will assemble in Sydney on July 1 before departing the following day for Sumatra ahead of their opening match of the tournament against Indonesia on July 5. This will be followed by matches against Macau (7 July), Singapore (10 July), Timor-Leste (12 July) and Japan (15 July).
The squad will return to Australia on July 17 where Barker-Daish will hop straight into pre season with the Reds. Adelaide United’s squad commences pre-season training on Monday, July 9.
Qantas Young Socceroos Squad for AFC U-22 Championship Qualifiers
Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia 5-15 July 2012
Terry ANTONIS (Sydney FC), Jake BARKER-DAISH (Adelaide United), Josh BRILLANTE (Newcastle Jets), Corey BROWN (Brisbane Roar), Reece CAIRA (Uncontracted), Connor CHAPMAN (Newcastle Jets), Mitch COOPER (Newcastle Jets), James DONACHIE (Brisbane Roar), Jack DUNCAN (gk) (Newcastle Jets), Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO (Tottenham Hotspur), Ben GARUCCIO (AIS), Nicholas FITZGERALD (Brisbane Roar), Jason GERIA (Brisbane Roar), Curtis GOOD (Melbourne Heart), Aaron LENNOX (gk) (Queen’s Park Rangers), Jesse MAKAROUNAS (Perth Glory), Nick MUNRO (gk) (Croydon Kings), Brandon O’NEILL (Perth Glory), Yianni PERKATIS (Blacktown City), Daniel PETKOVSKI (Sydney FC), Anthony PROIA (Brisbane Roar), Adam TAGGART (Newcastle Jets), Riley WOODCOCK (Perth Glory)