Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon has named four Sydney FC players as part of his 20-player squad for the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U19 Youth Championship to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 5-13 September.
Goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis will compete with Adelaide United's Paul Izzo for the number one jersey while recently re-signed first teamer Chris Naumoff, impressive midfielder Hagi Gligor and Foxtel National Youth League player George Blackwood complete the Sky Blues contingent for the tour.
Seventeen members of the squad have been drawn from the ranks of the Hyundai A-League clubs with Shayne D’Cunha (Blacktown City) hailing from the NSW NPL and Harry Ascroft (VVV Venlo, The Netherlands) and Peter Skapetis (Stoke City FC, England) the only overseas-based players.
Okon will be using the AFF U19 Youth Championship as an important event in his team’s preparation for the AFC U-19 Championship which will be played in Myanmar from 9-23 October 2014. The winners of the Quarter Finals (top 4 teams) from the AFC U-19 Championship will then qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in New Zealand from 30 May – 20 June.
“This is another opportunity for us to get more international match experience against competitive opposition in the lead up to the AFC U-19 Championship,” said Okon.
“The two group matches against Vietnam and Japan within three days will be a good challenge for us in conditions we are likely to face in Myanmar in October.
“From these matches we will be able to assess the level of preparedness of each player.
“At this stage no player is assured as position in the final squad for the AFC U-19 Championship and their performance at this tournament will be an important factor when it comes to selection time,” concluded Okon,
The Young Socceroos have been placed in Group B and will face host nation Vietnam in their first match of the tournament on Friday 5 September, followed by Japan on Sunday 7 September. The top two teams from the group will then advance to the semi-finals where they will face either Myanmar, Indonesia or Thailand on Thursday 11 September. The final and 3rd place play-off will to be played on Saturday 13 September. All matches will be played at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.
The Young Socceroos will depart for Vietnam on Monday 1 September.
Young Socceroos Squad - AFF U19 YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – 5 to 13 SEPTEMBER 2014
Daniel Alessi (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Harry Ascroft (VVV Venlo, The Netherlands)
George Blackwood (Apia Leichhardt/Sydney FC NYL)
Shannon Brady (Brisbane Roar)
Brandon Borrello (Brisbane Roar)
Anthony Bouzanis (gk)(Sydney FC)
Jordan Brown (Melbourne Victory)
Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory)
Shayne D’Cunha (Blacktown City)
Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory)
Ben Garuccio (Melbourne City)
Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC)
Paul Izzo (gk) Adelaide United)
Awer Mabil (Adelaide United)
Stefan Mauk (Melbourne City)
Christopher Naumoff (Sydney FC)
Liam Rose (Central Coast Mariners)
Peter Skapetis (Stoke City FC, England)
Jaushua Sotirio (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Benjamin Warland (Adelaide United)