Sydney stars dominate Young Socceroos

The World Cup hopes of six young Sydney FC stars continue to burn bright, with Sky Blues dominating the extended 30-man Qantas Young Socceroo squad named on Monday, ahead of next month’s U-20 World Championships.


The World Cup hopes of six young Sydney FC stars continue to burn bright, with Sky Blues dominating the extended 30-man Qantas Young Socceroo squad named on Monday, ahead of next month-s U-20 World Championships.

A final squad of 21 players will be announced on September 8, and the Sydney contingent is excited about having the opportunity to represent club and country on the World Stage.

“It-s one step closer to my dream,” said Kofi Danning, who last week received clearance from FIFA to represent his adopted nation. “I-ve been away with the (Young Socceroos) team a couple of times this year and got to experience what it-s like to represent Australia. It-s great to know I-m in contention for the World Cup and I-m very excited.”

“It-s a pretty good squad and I-m happy to be a part of it,” added Rhyan Grant. “There are a lot of good players in there but I thought I did alright on the recent tours, so hopefully Jan (Versleijen) will pick me to go to Egypt.”

Along with Danning and Grant, Matthew Jurman, Antony Golec, Chris Payne and Sydney FC National Youth League player, Sam Munro have all been included in Head Coach Jan Versleijen-s extended squad and remain in the running for a place on the plane.

“I-m heaps happy - it-s a great opportunity,” said Payne, who got his first chance to impress during Australia-s recent tour to South America. “It-s great to see my name in there. I-m just going to keep working hard for Sydney FC and hopefully I will earn a call up.”

The FIFA U-20 World Cup will be contested from September 24 through to October 16 in Egypt and the Qantas Young Socceroos have been in drawn in Group E, alongside Brazil, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic.

The final squad of 21 players will depart for Australia-s final pre-tournament training camp in Cyprus on Monday, September 14.

The preliminary Qantas Young Socceroos squad is as follows:

Mark Birighitti (gk) (Adelaide United) Luke Brattan (Brisbane Roar) Dean Bouzanis (gk) (Liverpool FC, England) Oliver Bozanic (Cheltenham Town (on loan from Reading FC), England) Isaka Cernak-Okanya (Brisbane Roar) Alex Cisak (gk) (Leicester City, England) Peter Cvetanovski (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Germany) Kofi Danning (Sydney FC) Luke DeVere (Brisbane Roar) Nathan Elasi (Melbourne Victory) Antony Golec (Sydney FC) Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC) Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets) James Holland (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands) Matthew Jurman (Sydney FC) Benjamin Kantarovski (Newcastle Jets) Dylan McGowan (Hearts FC, Scotland) Ryan McGowan (Hearts FC, Scotland) Tahj Minniecon (Gold Coast United) Aaron Mooy (Bolton Wanderers, England) Daniel Mullen (Adelaide United) Sam Munro (Sydney FC) Jason Naidovski (Newcastle Jets) Mitch Nichols (Brisbane Roar) Thomas Oar (Brisbane Roar) Chris Payne (Sydney FC) Andrew Redmayne (gk) (Central Coast Mariners) Jerrad Tyson (gk) (Gold Coast United) James Virgili (Newcastle Jets) Rocco Visconte (Hearts FC, Scotland).