Rob Baan to get first look at Qantas Under 23's

Football Federation Australia today announced a 24-player Qantas U23s squad that will participate in a 3-day camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) next week (15-18 Jan) as part of the preparations for qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Football Federation Australia today announced a 24-player Qantas U23s squad that will participate in a 3-day camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) next week (15-18 Jan) as part of the preparations for qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

This training camp will also provide the first opportunity for Football Australia's newly appointed Technical Director and Qantas Under 23s coach, Robert Baan to work with the squad before the first of the Olympic Games qualifying matches against Chinese Taipei early next month.

"Since arriving in Australia last week I have reviewed video tapes of all the players and have also spoken to Graham Arnold regarding who he believes should represent Australia for the Olympic Games qualifiers," said coach Robert Baan.

"For me, this training camp will be mostly about getting to know the players, their strengths and their weaknesses and then formulate a strategy for our first matches against Chinese Taipei.

"For the players it will be an opportunity for them to show me how well they can work together as a unit," concluded Baan.

The 24 players selected for the Qantas Under 23s squad training camp to be held at the AIS from the 15th-18th January 2007 are: Nathan BURNS (Adelaide United), Mark BRIDGE (Newcastle Jets), Adam CASEY (New Zealand Knights), Robert CORNTHWAITE (Adelaide United), Adam D'APUZZO (Newcastle Jets), Spase DILEVSKI (Queensland Roar), Bruce DJITE (Adelaide United), Luka GLAVAS (Perth Glory), Ben GRIFFIN (Queensland Roar), Labinot HALITI (Newcastle Jets), Ben KENNEDY (Newcastle Jets), Vince LIA (Melbourne Victory), Adrian LEIJER (Melbourne Victory), David MICEVSKI (Perth Glory), Mark MILLIGAN (Sydney FC), Stuart MUSIALIK (Newcastle Jets), Shaun ONTONG (AIS), Kristian SARKIES (Melbourne Victory), Jacob TIMPANO (Sydney FC), Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (uncontracted), Tando VELAPHI (Perth Soccer Club), Dario VIDOSIC (Queensland Roar), Daniel VUKOVIC (Central Coast Mariners) and Ruben ZADKOVICH (Sydney FC).

Background

Australia-s Olympic qualifying campaign will commence with a home and away preliminary qualifying play-off against Chinese Taipei on February 7 (home) and 14 (away).

The winner will progress to Group D of Round 2 qualification alongside Iran, Saudi Arabia, and either Jordan or Kyrgyzstan, with the first match against Iran scheduled to be played away on February 28.

The 24-team second round qualifying, which has been split into six groups of four, runs through February 28 to June 6, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the final round to be played in three groups of four teams each.

The final home and away round will be held from August 22 - November 21, with the three group winners representing Asia at the Beijing Olympic Games.

The only international matches of the current campaign to date for the Qantas Under 23s was a four-nation tournament last April. The Qantas Under 23s finishing second on goal difference behind Iran, and ahead of Uzbekistan and host nation Vietnam.

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