Young Hyundai A-League stars Antony Golec and Isaka Cernak have been called up for the Qantas Australian U23s squad for the London 2012 qualifiers against Uzbekistan and UAE.
Qantas Australian U23s head coach Aurelio Vidmar has selected a 20-player squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games - Third Round matches against Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.
Adelaide United defender Antony Golec and Melbourne Victory midfielder Isaka Cernak get their first call-up for this round of qualification, along with Brisbane Roar midfielder Rocco Visconte who has recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the squad for the past three matches.
Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis has also been included in the squad, subject to passing a fitness test prior to departure. Depending on the outcome, either Mustafa Amini or Benie Ibini from Central Coast Mariners will be added to the squad.
Overseas striker Kerem Bulut also receives his first selection in a Qantas Australian U23s squad having previously made appearances for the Qantas Joeys and Qantas Young Socceroos.
Discussions to add overseas players Aaron Mooy (St Mirren, Scotland), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht, Netherlands) and Matthew Leckie (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany) to the squad for the UAE match on 22 February are ongoing, with 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 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 25-29, 2012, and the winners of this group will meet the representatives of CAF (Africa) for a berth in the 2012 London Games.
Qantas Australian Under 23s squad Terry Antonis Sydney FC Aziz Behich Melbourne Heart Mark Birighitti (GK) Adelaide United Oliver Bozanic Central Coast Mariners Kerem Bulut FK Mlada Bolesav, Czech Republic Isaka Cernak Melbourne Victory Mate Dugandzic Melbourne Heart Diogo Ferreira Melbourne Victory Matthew Foschini Melbourne Victory Antony Golec Adelaide United Jason Hoffman Melbourne Heart Matthew Jurman Brisbane Roar Ben Kantarovski Newcastle Jets Daniel Mullen Adelaide United Mitch Nichols Brisbane Roar Dimitrios Petratos Sydney FC Sebastian Ryall Sydney FC Mathew Ryan (GK) Central Coast Mariners Adam Taggart Perth Glory Rocco Visconte Brisbane Roar
Stand-by Players Mustafa Amini Central Coast Mariners Bernie Ibini Central Coast Mariners
Upcoming match details AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games - Third Round Uzbekistan v Qantas Australian U23s Jar Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan Sunday, 5 February 2012 Kick-off: 8:00pm local (2:00am AEDT)
International friendly match Qantas Australian U23s v Philippines Zabeel Stadium, Dubai Thursday, 16 February 2012 Kick-off: 7:30pm local (2:30am AEDT)
AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games - Third Round UAE v Qantas Australian U23s Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE Wednesday, 22 February 2012 Kick-off: 5:30pm local (00:30am AEDT)
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t