Qantas Australian Under 23s head coach Aurelio Vidmar has selected an 18-player squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympic Games – Third Round match against Iraq, which will be played at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford on Wednesday 14 March 2012 (Kick-off 7:30pm AEDT).
Zac Anderson (Gold Coast United), Nick Fitzgerald (Brisbane Roar), Craig Goodwin (Melbourne Heart), Chris Harold (Gold Coast United), James Jeggo (Melbourne Victory), Mitchell Mallia (Sydney FC), Jacob Pepper (Newcastle Jets), Josh Risdon (Perth Glory), Tom Rogic (Central Coast Mariners) and Lawrence Thomas (Melbourne Victory) have all received their first call-up to the Qantas Australian U23s for the current campaign.
Although unable to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games, Vidmar is confident that his team can go out of the competition on a positive note.
“It is obvious that mathematically we can’t qualify for the Olympic Games, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is an international match that we want to win.
“We have also selected the current group of players with the upcoming inaugural AFC U22 Asian Championship in mind to give them some valuable competitive international match experience.
“Although we will only have a limited preparation, I am sure that the boys will be looking to finish the campaign with a positive result,” concluded Vidmar.
Both the Qantas Australian U23s and Iraq are out of contention to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games, but in the other group match Uzbekistan will need to defeat the UAE in Tashkent to guarantee direct passage to the Olympics.
Qantas Australian U-23s Squad List
AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games - Round 3
V Iraq – March 2012
Zac ANDERSON Gold Coast United
Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) Adelaide United
Kofi DANNING Brisbane Roar
Nicholas FITZGERALD Brisbane Roar
Sam GALLAGHER Central Coast Mariners
Craig GOODWIN Melbourne Heart
Rhyan GRANT Sydney FC
Brendan HAMILL Melbourne Heart
Chris HAROLD Gold Coast United
Bernie IBINI Central Coast Mariners
James JEGGO Melbourne Victory
Ben KANTAROVSKI Newcastle Jets
Mitchell MALLIA Sydney FC
Jacob PEPPER Newcastle Jets
Dimitrios PETRATOS Sydney FC
Joshua RISDON Perth Glory
Tom ROGIC Central Coast Mariners
Lawrence THOMAS (gk) Melbourne Victory
as at Wednesday 7 March 2012
AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games – Third Round
Qantas Australian U23s v Iraq
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
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