Mallia Gets First Olyroos Call Up

Sydney FC striker Mitchell Mallia has won his first call up to the Qantas Australian Under 23s squad after an impressive run of A-League performances.

Sydney FC striker Mitchell Mallia has won his first call up to the Qantas Australian Under 23s squad after impressing Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar with his recent A-League performances.

Mallia joins Sydney FC team mates Dimitri Petratos and Rhyan Grant in an 18-man squad for next Wednesday night's Olympic Games qualifier against Iraq at Central Coast Stadium.

The 19 year old, who scored Sydney's crucial winning goal against Adelaide United two weeks ago, is one of ten players winning their first call up, including Gold Coast United's Zac Anderson and Chris Harold, Nick Fitzgerald from Brisbane Roar, Craig Goodwin of Melbourne Heart, James Jeggo and goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas from Melbourne Victory, Jacob Pepper of Newcastle Jets, Josh Risdon from Perth Glory and Tom Rogic from the Central Coast Mariners.

Mallia said, "I'm very much excited at the call up and overwhelmed at the opportunity.

"I'm looking forward to going to camp and using it as a learning curve for my career.

"My family are also very excited and looking forward to hopefully seeing me in the green and gold. If I perform well in training who knows what might happen."

The game in Gosford next week means all three Sydney players will be available for this weekend's massive game against Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium (formerly SFS).

Although unable to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games, Qantas Australian Under 23s coach Vidmar is confident that his team can go out of the competition on a positive note.

“It is obvious that mathematically we can-t qualify for the Olympic Games, but that doesn-t change the fact that this is an international match that we want to win.

“We have also selected the current group of players with the upcoming inaugural AFC U22 Asian Championship in mind to give them some valuable competitive international match experience." concluded Vidmar.

Both the Qantas Australian U23s and Iraq are out of contention to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games, but in the other group match Uzbekistan will need to defeat the UAE in Tashkent to guarantee direct passage to the Olympics.

Qantas Australian U-23s Squad List AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games - Round 3 V Iraq - March 2012

Name Club Zac ANDERSON Gold Coast United Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) Adelaide United Kofi DANNING Brisbane Roar Nicholas FITZGERALD Brisbane Roar Sam GALLAGHER Central Coast Mariners Craig GOODWIN Melbourne Heart Rhyan GRANT Sydney FC Brendan HAMILL Melbourne Heart Chris HAROLD Gold Coast United Bernie IBINI Central Coast Mariners James JEGGO Melbourne Victory Ben KANTAROVSKI Newcastle Jets Mitchell MALLIA Sydney FC Jacob PEPPER Newcastle Jets Dimitrios PETRATOS Sydney FC Joshua RISDON Perth Glory Tom ROGIC Central Coast Mariners Lawrence THOMAS (gk) Melbourne Victory

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