Jan ponders big decisions

The Qantas Young Socceroos have arrived in the Suez Canal city of Port Said in Egypt in preparation for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and Head Coach Jan Versleijen will use the next 48 hours to decide on his starting XI.

The Qantas Young Socceroos have arrived in the Suez Canal city of Port Said in Egypt in preparation for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and Head Coach Jan Versleijen will use the next 48 hours to decide on his starting XI.

The Qantas Young Socceroos opening game is against the Czech Republic on Sunday evening local (Monday morning AEST).

Versleijen must decide on his first choice keeper for the FIFA U-20 World Cup opener, with Andrew Redmayne (Central Coast Mariners), Alex Cisak (Leicester City) and Dean Bouzanis (Liverpool) playing a game each in the lead up matches in Cyprus, as well as resolve the captaincy.

Versleijen and assistant Ante Milicic oversaw an intense 90 minute session before the team departed Cyprus and made the short trek to Egypt.

With no injury concerns, the Qantas Young Socceroos coach has a full complement of 21 players to choose from.

“There are some spots we haven-t yet decided on, and I must decide on the keeper and the captain,-- Versleijen said from Port Said.

“I have some idea of how I will line up. There probably won-t be any huge surprises but we are still deciding on the right composition.

“We had a very good camp in Cyprus, almost perfect conditions in terms of being similar to what they are here in Egypt right now.

“We played three good games and learnt a lot in those games. Now we-ve got just a few days left before the Czech game and we have to work on the details to put the right starting 11 on the field and that-s the most exciting part for the players, waiting for this moment to play in the World Cup.--

The Qantas Young Socceroos coach said the occasion of being a World Cup had finally sunk in having arrived in Egypt, after a 10-day camp in Cyprus.

“I think it is starting to sink in for everybody in and around the team, from the players to the staff. Being at a World Cup is special,-- he said.

“You play against the best teams in the world, you see a lot of people involved in the game, different playing styles and it-s only held every two years, so it-s a privilege to be here.

“The players have handled themselves well. They-ve been together for 16 months and we-ve seen good progression on and off the field, and the team spirit is good.

“I-m sure they now understand that playing in a World Cup is a lifetime opportunity to make something out of their careers and that will make them even sharper and concentrate more.--

Midfielder James Holland added that the players were feeling the buzz of the FIFA U-20 World Cup now that they were in Egypt.

“It-s the beginning, we-ve all got our game faces on now, preparation-s been good so far, we-ve been training hard and we-ve had a few good games where we can learn a lot from,-- Holland said.

“Now that we-re here we-re just really excited to be getting started on the 27th and we-re definitely ready.

“There-s a big buzz in Egypt, there-s lots of World Cup coverage, it-s all over the papers and on TV and obviously it has hit home that we-re really here.

All Qantas Young Socceroos matches at the FIFA U-20 World Cup will be broadcast live and exclusive on SBS TV (see www.sbs.com.au for full broadcast details).

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