Sydney FC trio Dimi Petratos, Sebastian Ryall and Terry Antonis have been selected in the 20-man Qantas Australian Under 23s squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games – Third Round matches against Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Sydney FC trio Dimi Petratos, Sebastian Ryall and Terry Antonis have been selected in the 20-man Qantas Australian Under 23s squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games - Third Round matches against Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Antonis has been included in the squad, subject to passing a fitness test prior to departure after injuring his hamstring at training on Tuesday. Depending on the outcome of Antonis- fitness test, either Mustafa Amini or Bernie Ibini from the Central Coast Mariners will be added to the squad.
Ryall was thrilled with his selection but understands his side faces a tough task: “I-m obviously thrilled to be selected in the squad. It-s always an honour to play for Australia but this has extra significance as we are fighting to become a part of an Olympic Games as well.
“We know we face a tough task with the two away games and we need to win if we are going to progress to the Olympic Games in London.”
Adelaide United and former Sydney FC defender Antony Golec and Melbourne Victory midfielder Isaka Cernak get their first call-up for this round of the qualification campaign along with Brisbane Roar midfielder Rocco Visconte who has recovered from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of squad for the last three matches.
Overseas based striker Kerem Bulut, himself a former Sydney FC player, receives his first ever selection in a Qantas Australian U23s squad having previously made appearances for the Qantas Joeys and Qantas Young Socceroos.
Discussions are also ongoing to add other overseas-based players, Aaron Mooy (St Mirren, Scotland), Tommy Oar (FC Utrceht, Netherlands) and Mathew Leckie (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany), to the Qantas Australian U23s squad for the UAE match on 22 February with their club commitments making them definitely unavailable for the Uzbekistan match.
The majority of the Qantas Australian Under 23s will depart Australia on 29 January for a pre-match camp in the UAE before heading to Tashkent to face Uzbekistan at the JAR Stadium on Sunday 5 February (Kick-off 8:00pm local (2:00am AEDT. The Qantas Australian U23s will then return to the UAE for a training camp to prepared for their next qualification match against the UAE at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday 22 February (Kick-Off 5:30pm local (00:30am AEDT). The training camp will also include a friendly match against the Philippines senior national team at the Zabeel Stadium, Dubai on Thursday 16 February (Kick-off 7:30pm local (02:30am AEDT).
The teams in each group of the third round of qualifying play in a home-and-away format from 21 September 2011, to 14 March 14, 2012, with the winner of each group directly qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games Football competition.
The three second-placed teams from the third round will clash in a playoff at a centralised venue from March 25 to 29, 2012, and the winners of this group will meet the representatives of CAF (Africa) for a berth in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The squad is: Terry Antonis, Aziz Behich, Mark Birighitti, Oliver Bozanic, Kerem Bulut, Isaka Cernak, Mate Dugandzic, Diogo Ferreira, Matthew Foschini, Antony Golec, Jason Hoffman, Matthew Jurman, Ben Kantarovski, Daniel Mullen, Mitch Nichols, Dimitrios Petratos, Sebastian Ryall, Mathew Ryan, Adam Taggart and Rocco Visconte.
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