The cream of the A-League's young talent, together with a smattering of players from the Victorian Premier League, AIS and overseas have been selected in a training squad to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics and FIFA U20 World Cup.
Olyroos coach Aurelio Vidmar and Young Socceroos coach Jan Versleijen today announced a joint 31-player squad that will go into a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra from the 11-16 April.The majority of the squad is drawn from the A-League and National Youth League player ranks with two players from the Victorian Premier League. Hertha Berlin starlet Ante Drazina is the only overseas based player in the squad. This is the first of a series of training camps for Australia-based players to prepare for the 2012 London Olympic Games Asian Qualifiers and FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011.
The Olyroos will face Yemen in the second round of the 2012 London Olympic Games Asian Qualifiers on the 19th and 23rd June 2011 with the venues yet to be confirmed.
While the Young Socceroos will compete at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 which begins on the 29th July with the final to be played on the 20th August. Vidmar is eager to work with this group of players now that the Olyroos opponent for their first stage in qualifiers is known. “It’s great to get the players back together for the first time since September last year," Vidmar said.
“This is the first of three vital camps for us to assess the status of all players and most importantly gauge their fitness levels since the conclusion of the A-league season. “We now know that we have a very challenging tie against Yemen in June and based on the information that we have gathered about our opposition we need to work on our own game plan accordingly.Versleijen is equally keen to get as much quality training time with his players with the start of the FIFA U-20 World Cup less than four months away. “It’s important that we use all the possible time we have together positively to prepare for the upcoming tournament," he said.
“The fact that the majority of players are out of season makes our task that little bit more difficult. “As per the competition regulations, we have to submit a preliminary list of 30 players in the next couple of months, so it’s up to the players to use this opportunity to prove that they should be in the final squad. Football Federation Australia Technical Director Han Berger believes that camps such as these are paramount to the success of our youth national teams. “With the A-League and National Youth League in recess, it is important that these players stay fit and sharp in the lead up to these very important competitions," Berger said.
“We all also use this opportunity to have the players face each other competitively. “In a similar vein to the recent camp we held in Europe, we have invited some players into this camp to identify talent and it will be up to the players to prove themselves against their peers.
Olyroos and Young Socceroos training squad:
Matthew ACTON (Brisbane Roar), Mustafa AMINI (Central Coast Mariners), Terry ANTONIS (Sydney FC), Eli BABALJ (Melbourne Heart), Jake BARKER-DAISH (Gold Coast United), Aziz BEHICH (Melbourne Heart), Mark BIRIGHITTI (Adelaide United), Brian BRAN (Oakleigh Cannons, VPL), Oliver BOZANIC (Central Coast Mariners), Daniel BOWLES (Brisbane Roar), Ante DRAZINA (Hertha Belin, Germany), Mate DUGANDZIC (Melbourne Heart), Sam GALLAGHER (Central Coast Mariners), Jason GERIA (AIS), Curtis GOOD (Melbourne Heart), Ben HALLORAN (Gold Coast United), Brendan HAMILL (Melbourne Heart), Jack HINGERT (Dndenong Thunder, VPL), Jason HOFFMAN (Melbourne Heart), Bernie IBINI-ISEI (Central Coast Mariners), Marko JESIC (Newcastle Jets), Gol Gol MEBRAHTU (Gold Coast United), Tahj MINNIECON (Gold Coast United), Mitch NICHOLS (Brisbane Roar), Mirjan PAVLOVIC (Wellington Phoenix), Andrew REDMAYNE (Brisbane Roar), Matt RYAN (Central Coast Mariners), Trent SAINSBURY (Central Coast Mariners), Kliment TASESKI (Melbourne Heart), James VIRGILI (Newcastle Jets), Rocco VISCONTE (Brisbane Roar).
Australia suffered a 3-1 loss to Netherlands in the first of two international matches as part of its Europe-based training camp in preparation for the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey.