Qantas Young Socceroos head coach Paul Okon has included 13 players from the ranks of the Hyundai A-League Clubs and 10 overseas based players in his 23-player squad for the upcoming AFC U-19 Championship, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates from 1-17 November 2012.
Having worked with this group of players intensely for the past 5 months, Okon is looking forward to the upcoming tournament.
“We had a thorough process in selecting this squad with everyone having an opportunity to show themselves through training and match situations,” Okon said.
“There is a good mix of local and overseas-based players, and there were plenty of tough decisions that had to be made when settling on the final group.
“Our preparation for this tournament has been great with plenty of match practice. In particular, to be able to use the majority of these players at the AFC U-22 qualifiers in Indonesia in July gave us good competitive matches under tournament conditions which will serve us well once we get to the UAE.
“Whilst we know it will be a difficult challenge, I am confident that we have a strong-enough squad to progress from the group stage to the quarter-finals which will then come down to that one important game for us to perform in to qualify for the World Cup."
The Qantas Young Socceroos will assemble in the UAE this weekend and will finalise their preparations for the tournament with an international friendly against the Korea Republic on Tuesday.
The Qantas Young Socceroos have been drawn in Group D of the AFC U-19 Championship and will play their opening match against Qatar on Sunday 4 November (kick-off 3:00pm local, 10:00pm AEDT ), followed by Syria Tuesday 6 November (kick-off 7:00pm local, 2:00am AEDT and Saudi Arabia in their final group match on Thursday 8 November (kick-off 5:00pm local, 12:00am AEDT).
The top two teams from each group of the AFC U-19 Championship 2012 will progress to the knockout stage (quarter-finals) and the four winners of the quarter-finals will then play in the semi-finals with the winners advancing to the final.
The semi-finalists will also automatically qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in Turkey in June/July 2013.
Qantas Young Socceroos Squad for AFC U-19 Championship UAE 2012
Name Club, Country
Terry ANTONIS Sydney FC, Australia
Mustafa AMINI Borussia Dortmund, Germany
Joshua BRILLANTE Newcastle Jets, Australia
Corey BROWN Brisbane Roar, Australia
Reece CAIRA Western Sydney Wanderers, Australia
Connor CHAPMAN Newcastle Jets, Australia
Travis COOPER VVV Venlo, The Netherlands
Jack DUNCAN (gk) Newcastle Jets, Australia
Ryan EDWARDS Reading FC, England
Corey GAMEIRO FC Eindhoven, Netherlands
Ben GARUCCIO Melbourne Heart, Australia
Jason GERIA Brisbane Roar, Australia
Curtis GOOD Newcastle United, England
Jackson IRVINE Celtic FC, Scotland
Paul IZZO (gk) Adelaide United, Australia
Liam JACOB (gk) Oldham Athletic FC, England
Tom KING Bristol City FC, England
Jamie MACLAREN Blackburn Rovers, England
Hayden MORTON Central Coast Mariners, Australia
Mitchell OXBORROW Newcastle Jets, Australia
Adam TAGGART Newcastle Jets, Australia
David VRANKOVIC Melbourne Heart, Australia
Ryan WILLIAMS Fulham FC, England