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Olyroos in line for March match-ups against Brazil, Egypt in Saudi Arabia


Australia’s overseas-based Under-23s stars could emerge from a 13-month international hiatus next month for a camp in Saudi Arabia which will pit the Olyroos against Brazil and Egypt.

Other than clashes against Sydney FC and Macarthur FC late last year, featuring home-based players only, Graham Arnold’s team has been in mothballs since clinching qualification for the deferred Olympic Games last January.

But it’s understood Football Australia is poised to accept an invitation to play the friendlies in Jeddah during the March FIFA window in what would also act as a talent identification camp ahead of July’s Japan journey.

The Socceroos are scheduled to face Nepal in Kathmandu during the same window on March 30.

If that game goes ahead as planned, amid ongoing COVID-19 confusion, it’s likely Young Socceroos coach Gary van Egmond would take the reins in Jeddah.

The match-ups against 2016 Olympic gold medalists Brazil and Egypt - both of whom have qualified for Tokyo - would present an opportunity to assess the progress of a caravan of mainly European-based next gen Australian talent, with A-League players ineligible due to Australia’s strict two-week quarantine protocols.

Assuming FA win the release of players from their clubs, the clashes would offer the likes of Denmark-based Daniel Arzani the opportunity to re-acquaint himself with international football, plus a glimpse at the latest Australian to sample English Premier League action - Southampton midfielder Caleb Watts.

Wolfsburg II striker John Iredale and Hoffenheim forward Noah Botic would be likely call ups, along with budding Borussia Mönchengladbach youngster Jacob Italiano.

Fulham midfielder Tyrese Francois - who has made two League Cup appearances for the Cottagers - could be another on the radar along with goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer, currently back-up at League One Charlton Athletic.

Others in contention to head to the Kingdom - where Argentina are also likely to compete in a four-team tournament - are Brentford’s former Adelaide United midfielder Lachlan Brook, Sporting Lisbon’s ex-Joey Tristan Hammond and rookie Everton defender Con Ouzounidis.

Stoke City stopper Harry Souttar, Urawa Red Diamonds’ Thomas Deng, AGF’s Alex Gersbach and Portugal-based former Joeys skipper Ryan Teague would also be probable inclusions.

Saudi Arabia has only 2,024 active coronavirus cases, with an overall tally of 376,377 and 6,480 deaths.

FA were approached for comment.

Source SBS The World Game