Joeys coach Alistair Edwards has named his 23-player squad that will compete at the AFC U-16 Championship 2012, which will be held in Tehran, Iran from 22 September to 7 October (AEST).
England based Taylor Tombides (West Ham, United) and Hyuga Tanner (Blackburn Rovers) are joined by 11 members of the Australian Institute of Sport Football program and players from the State/Member Federation Institute programs and State League clubs.
Edwards believes his group is well prepared for the AFC U-16 Championship and the challenge of qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"Tony Vidmar (Joeys Assistant Coach & Head Coach of AIS Football Program) and I have been very impressed by the quality of players within this age group and the selection process to finalise the 23 player squad was extremely difficult, we have included two overseas based players to go with the 21 locally based," Edwards said.
"We have had regular camps at the AIS in Canberra alongside the very valuable international games from our overseas tours, so we go into this tournament with a similar preparation program to that of the countries we will be competing against.
"Some really promising younger players have caught our eye and as such, in line with the national long term player development philosophy, even though most nations will choosing 1996-born players only, there are eight 1997-born players included in this Qantas Joeys squad."
Australia has been drawn in Group B for the AFC U-16 Championship and will face Thailand in its opener on Saturday 22 September (9pm AEST), followed by Oman on 25 September (1am AEST) and host nation Iraq on 26 September (9pm AEST).
The semi-finalists of the AFC U-16 Championship will also automatically qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in late 2013.
"There is a lot of talk about results not being important at this level but the irony of all this is that if you don't win in these tournament you don't progress and the players miss out on challenging themselves at a World Cup," Edwards said;
"My view on this has always been that winning is, and always has been, important but it's the manner in which you go about trying to win.
"We have an Australian way of playing now and we will go there with the intention of winning with the possession based style of football that we espouse in our national curriculum philosophy."
Australia squad for AFC U-16 Championship
Bai ANTONIO - NSWIS
James BALDACCHINO - South Coast Wolves, NSW
Aaron CALVER - NSWIS
Daniel DE SILVA - Football West
Alexander GERSBACH - AIS
Jack IREDALE - AIS
Andre JANNESE - AIS
Steve KUZMANOVSKI - AIS
Kevin LY - NSWIS
Joshua MACDONALD - NSWIS
Darcy MADDEN - AIS
Todd NORRIS - AIS
Matthew NTOUMENOPOULOS - AIS
Rocco PIZZATA - Football West
Jordan PUDLER - Football Federation South Australia
Liam ROSE - AIS
Matthew SCHMIDT - AIS
Lucas SPINELLA - AIS
Lukas STERGIOU - Sutherland Sharks FC
Matthew STEWART - NSWIS
Hyuga TANNER - Blackburn Rovers FC, England
Jordan THURTELL - AIS
Taylor TOMBIDES - West Ham United, England
John Boultbee is set to relinquish his role as Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) Head of National Teams to take up a role as honorary head of World Rowing (FISA).