Young Socceroos coach Paul Okon has named 13 players from the A-League and 10 from overseas in his 23-member squad for the upcoming AFC Under-19 Championship in the United Arab Emirates.
Included in the squad are promising midfielders Mustafa Amini of Borussia Dortmund and Sydney FC's Terry Antonis.
Having worked with this group of players intensely for the past five months, Okon is looking forward to the event to be held from 1-17 November.
“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 Under-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 Young Socceroos will assemble in the UAE this weekend and will finalise their preparations for the tournament with an international friendly against Korea Republic on Tuesday.
The Young Socceroos have been drawn in Group D and will play their opening match against Qatar on Sunday 4 November followed by Syria on Wednesday 7 November (AEDT) and Saudi Arabia on Thursday 8 November.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the knockout stage and the four winners of the quarter-finals will play in the semi-finals with the winners advancing to the final.
The four semi-finalists will also automatically qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey in June/July 2013.
Young Socceros squad: Terry ANTONIS Sydney FC, Mustafa AMINI Borussia Dortmund, Joshua BRILLANTE Newcastle Jets, Corey BROWN Brisbane Roar, Reece CAIRA Western Sydney Wanderers, Connor CHAPMAN Newcastle Jets, Travis COOPER VVV Venlo, Jack DUNCAN Newcastle Jets, Ryan EDWARDS Reading, Corey GAMEIRO Eindhoven, Ben GARUCCIO Melbourne Heart, Jason GERIA Brisbane Roar, Curtis GOOD Newcastle United, Jackson IRVINE Celtic, Paul IZZO Adelaide United, Liam JACOB Oldham Athletic, Tom KING Bristol City, Jamie MACLAREN Blackburn Rovers, Hayden MORTON Central Coast Mariners, Mitchell OXBORROW Newcastle Jets, Adam TAGGART Newcastle Jets, David VRANKOVIC Melbourne Heart, Ryan WILLIAMS Fulham.
Wellington Phoenix's recruitment under coach Ernie Merrick began with the signing of 22-year-old former Perth Glory goalkeeper Lewis Italiano.