Qantas Young Socceroos preliminary squad named

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today submitted a preliminary list of 30 players selected by Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Jan Versleijen for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today submitted a preliminary list of 30 players selected by Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Jan Versleijen for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009.

The FIFA U-20 World Cup will be played in Egypt from 24 September to 16 October.

“Our campaign has been going over a year and during that time I have been able to get a very good idea on the quality and talent of all the players in this age group,” said Versleijen.

“Most of the players have stepped up to international standard and improved along the way.

“When we chose the squad we looked for balance with at least two players for every position covered and also that the players were playing regularly for their club.

“Everyone had enough chances to impress, but unfortunately not everyone can be selected. For those players that missed out, I want to make the point that there will be other opportunities in the future to represent Australia at international tournaments. Not being selected in this squad does not mean players will not be selected in future squads.

“The next few weeks will be very exciting with these players needing to continue their form right up to the final selection.

“Apart from being technically and tactically strong, they will need to be physically and mentally tough because there are no excuses and no second chances at a World Cup,” concluded Versleijen.

Included in the preliminary squad are 21-players from the Hyundai A-League, with six players from the Sydney FC ranks, five from Brisbane Roar, four from the Newcastle Jets, two each from Gold Coast United and Adelaide United with individuals from the Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory.

Of the nine overseas-based players, Oliver Bozanic (Cheltenham Town (on loan from Reading FC), Aaron Mooy (Bolton Wanderers) and James Holland (AZ Alkmaar) are selected after recently joining the Qantas Socceroos in camp for the recent international friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Limerick. Goal-keepers Dean Bouzanis (Liverpool FC) and Alex Cisak (Leicester City) are named alongside Hearts FC trio of Dylan McGowan, Ryan McGowan and Rocco Visconte along with Borussia Mönchengladbach-s Peter Cvetanovski.

FFA is required to submit the preliminary list today, with the final squad of 21 players to be drawn from the preliminary list and set to be announced in Sydney on 8 September.

The Qantas Young Socceroos have been in drawn in Group E of the FIFA U-20 World Cup alongside Brazil, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic.

They will be based in the Northern Egyptian city of Port Said during the first phase of the tournament and will play their play their first match against the Czech Republic on Sunday 27 September, and then face Costa Rica on Wednesday 30 September before their final group match against Brazil on Saturday 3 October. The host nation Egypt will meet Trinidad and Tobago in the opening match on Thursday 24 September at the Egyptian Army Stadium in Alexandria.

The Qantas Young Socceroos qualified for the tournament having made the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Youth Championships in Saudi Arabia last year.

The final Qantas Young Socceroos squad will depart on Monday 14 September for their final pre-tournament training camp in Cyprus where they will play friendly matches against Trinidad & Tobago, England and USA, before traveling to their base in Port Said, Egypt for their opening match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Preliminary Qantas Young Socceroos Squad

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009 Egypt 24 September to 16 October

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).