Sydney FC's Hagi Gligor, Christopher Naumoff and Anthony Bouzanis have been selected for Young Socceroos duty after Head Coach Paul Okon today named his 23-player squad for the AFC U-19 Championship 2014 which will be held in Myanmar from 9-23 October 2014.
After an impresive preseason for the Sky Blues, Naumoff, Gligor and Bouzanis will compete in the AFC U-19 Championships before returning in time for Sydney FC's round four Hyundai A-League clash against the Central Coast Mariners at Allianz Stadium.
The bulk of Okon’s squad has been drawn from the ranks of Hyundai A-League clubs with Shayne D’Cunha from the NSW NPL competition and Cameron Burgess (Fulham FC, England), Chris Ikonomidis (SS Lazio, Italy) and Peter Skapetis (Stoke City FC, England) as the three overseas-based players.
Okon is optimistic about his team’s chances heading into the tournament.
“We have had a good preparation leading into the tournament with a number of tours and camps where we have faced quality opposition,” said Okon.
“Unfortunately we have experienced a couple of injuries to the group recently, with Ben Garruccio (ankle) and Jordan Lyden (hamstring) ruled out of selection, but this has given opportunities for other players to step-up.
“We fly out tomorrow for a pre-tournament camp in Thailand where our overseas-based players will join us. This will allow us to acclimatise to similar conditions we will face in Myanmar and put the finishing touches on our game plan.
“Our goal is to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and to achieve this goal we will need to string together four quality performances,” concluded Okon.
The Young Socceroos have been placed in Group B and will face the United Arab Emirates in their first match of the tournament on Friday 10 October, followed by Indonesia on Sunday 12 October and then Uzbekistan in their final group match on Tuesday 14 October.
The top two teams from Group B will then advance to the quarter-finals where they will face the top two teams from Group A (Myanmar, I.R. Iran, Thailand or Yemen) on Friday 17 September. The winner of the Quarter-Finals will not only advance to the Semi-Finals stage of the competition, but will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in New Zealand from 30 May – 20 June.
Young Socceroos Squad - AFC U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – Myanmar - 9-23 October 2014
Daniel Alessi - Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia
Shannon Brady - Brisbane Roar FC, Australia
Brandon Borrello - Brisbane Roar FC, Australia
Anthony Bouzanis (gk) - Sydney FC, Australia
Jordan Brown - Melbourne Victory, Australia
Cameron Burgess - Fulham FC, England
Daniel De Silva - Perth Glory, Australia
Shayne D’Cunha - Blacktown City, Australia
Scott Galloway - Melbourne Victory, Australia
Hagi Gligor - Sydney FC, Australia
Chris Ikonomidis - SS Lazio, Italy
Paul Izzo (G/K) - Adelaide United, Australia
Awer Mabil - Adelaide United, Australia
Stefan Mauk - Melbourne City FC, Australia
Dylan Murnane - Melbourne Victory, Australia
Christopher Naumoff - Sydney FC, Australia
Marc Ochieng - Adelaide United, Australia
Liam Rose - Central Coast Mariners, Australia
Peter Skapetis - Stoke City FC, England
Jaushua Sotirio - Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia
Jordan Thurtell (gk) - Perth Glory, Australia
Benjamin Warland - Adelaide United, Australia
Riley Woodcock - Perth Glory, Australia