Two days out from their FIFA U-20 World Cup opener, the Young Socceroos are eager to make their mark in the world's second biggest football tournament.
Two days out from their FIFA U-20 World Cup opener against Colombia, the Young Socceroos are eager to make their mark in the world's second biggest football tournament.
HIstory shows that many of the world's heavyweight footballers have reached their peaks via a stop at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, with no less than Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona earning Player of the Tournament awards in previous years.
Closer to home it's a similar story, with six of the Qantas Socceroos' starting side from last Tuesday, plus match winner Josh Kennedy, having tasted international experience at this level previously.
"As a group from the start it-s definitely something we-ve all spoke about," said Adam Taggart, the Newcastle Jets striker with two senior international goals to his name already.
“The history (at this tournament) is obviously fantastic so we-re all looking really forward to it and we understand what-s happened (at this tournament) in the past.
“We-re all roaring to go for that first game.”
The 19th FIFA U-20 World Cup kicks off in Istanbul on Friday (Saturday morning AEST).
Australia has a proud record at the tournament, having qualified for more editions (15) than any other nation in the world, save for South American giants Brazil (17).
Australia's best finishes at a FIFA U-20 World Cup were in 1991 and 1993, when the Young Socceroos recorded fourth place finishes on each occasion.
It remains to be seen how the likes of Curtis Good, Taggart and Jackson Irvine will stack up against the stars of '91 and '93, but the Young Socceroos of 2013 and hopeful, and confident, of representing their country with distinction in Turkey.
"I still think this team has a lot more to give and each training session, each game I think we move stronger and we move closer towards how (Head Coach) Paul Okon wants us to play," said Celtic midfielder Irvine, one of a handful of Young Socceroo players based abroad.
"I think we-ll surprise a few people with the style of play that we-re going to set out to play and hopefully it-s entertaining and also effective."
The Qantas Young Socceroos will begin their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign on Saturday, 22 June at 6pm local time (Sunday, 23 June 1am AEST) with a match against Colombia at Trabzon-s Huseyin Avni Stadium.
The Qantas Young Socceroos matches are live on SBS 2: * Saturday 23 June: 12.45am (5.45pm Turkish time 22 June) v Colombia * Wednesday 26 June: 12.45am (5.45pm Turkish time 25 June) v El Salvador * Saturday 29 June: 3.45am (8.45pm Turkish time 28 June) v Turkey
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