Some of NSW’s most talented and ambitious men’s footballers will travel to Tajikistan this week as Australia seeks to qualify for next year’s AFC U23 Asian Cup to be held in Uzbekistan.
As many as 11 NSW born players who kick started their football journeys playing with grassroots clubs across the state will all be vying for a spot in next year’s AFC Under 23’s Asian Cup should they dispose of Indonesia over two matches.
The likes of players such as Noah Botic, Kai Calderbank-Park, Alessandro Lopane, Lewis Miller, Fabian Monge, Adam Pavelsic, Luka Prso, Nicholas Suman, Callum Talbot, Patrick Wood and Patrick Yazbek will all don the green and gold jersey representing NSW also with pride at these two highly important fixtures.
Originally Australia had been scheduled to play Indonesia, as well as China PR and Brunei Darussalam in Group G of Asian qualifying, however after the latter two nations withdrew from qualifying the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) reconfigured the Group B match schedule. Australia will now need to defeat Indonesia in a two-match series to advance to Uzbekistan 2022.
Football Australia’s National Technical Director and Joeys (U17s) Head Coach, Trevor Morgan, will coach the team, on an interim basis, in Tajikistan.
Morgan said the players that have arrived in Dubai ahead of Australia’s qualifiers in Tajikistan have entered camp with energy and enthusiasm, excited by the challenge ahead.
“It has been great to see how much it means to the players to come together,” Morgan said. “They love representing Australia and have not had the opportunity to for such a long time.”
“We have been delighted with the energy and enthusiasm that the players have shown since they’ve arrived in Dubai. While logistical and operational challenges around COVID prevented the group from arriving as one, the majority of the squad are now settled in camp and have been putting some fantastic work in on the training pitch.
“The squad we’ve selected for next week’s qualifiers casts a real eye to the future, with the core of the squad age-eligible to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in three years’ time.
“The bulk of the players in the squad have already earned A-League Men’s match minutes, and we believe that each player’s time within the national team environment this month will serve to complement his development. This is something that shone through in the last U23s cycle under Graham Arnold, with players such as Harry Souttar, Denis Genreau, Riley McGree, and Connor Metcalfe combining club football and youth national team activity on their respective paths to their Socceroos debuts.
“We’re very thankful for the support of several overseas and A-Leagues clubs in sending their players to camp as early as possible. This has given the players vital extra time to build understanding, and highlights the club’s recognition of what wearing the Australian jersey means for Australian players,” he said.
In addition to the players confirmed to travel to Tajikistan, three young players have been invited to train with the group in Dubai. Thymos Caroutas (UE Cornella, Spain), Aydan Hammond (uncontracted), and Matthew Scarcella (Xanthi FC, Greece) will each spend valuable time in the national team environment in the United Arab Emirates as Football Australia seeks to identify more players for the future.
Australia is currently scheduled to play Indonesia in Dushanbe on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 and Saturday, 30 October 2021, with both matches kicking off at 5pm local time (11pm AEDT). Match coverage and/or streaming information, and other qualification tournament updates, will be advised through the official Socceroos social media handles in the lead up to each fixture.
Australia U23 Men’s National Team Squad – AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 Qualifiers (Group G) – Dushanbe, Tajikistan (Neutral Territory)
|Name||Club, Country||Junior Club (Member Federation)|
|Adisu BAYEW||Western United FC, Australia||Melbourne Lions FC (Football Victoria)|
|Zaydan BELLO||Melbourne Victory FC, Australia||Sporting Whittlesea (Football Victoria)|
|Jordan BOS||Melbourne City FC, Australia||Hoppers Crossing SC (Football Victoria)|
|Noah BOTIC||Western United FC, Australia||Hurstville ZFC (Football NSW)|
|Lachlan BROOK||Brentford B, England||Gawler Eagles FC (Football South Australia)|
|Kai CALDERBANK-PARK (Gk)||Connah’s Quay FC, Wales||Unanderra Hearts FC (Football NSW)|
|Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS||Radkow Czestochowa, Poland||Brisbane City FC (Football Queensland)|
|Luke DUZEL||Western United FC, Australia||Melbourne Knights FC (Football Victoria)|
|Taras GOMULKA||Melbourne City FC, Australia||Modbury Vista SC (Football South Australia)|
|Jacob ITALIANO||Borussia Monchengladbach II, Germany||Inglewood United FC (Football West)|
|Alessandro LOPANE||Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia||APIA Leichhardt FC (Football NSW)|
|Lucas MAURAGIS||Newcastle Jets FC, Australia||Merimbula Grasshoppers FC (Football NSW)|
|Lewis MILLER||Central Coast Mariners FC, Australia||Pittwater RSL FC (Football NSW)|
|Fabian MONGE||Xanthi FC, Greece||Mount Pritchard (Football NSW)|
|Adam PAVLESIC (Gk)||Sydney FC, Australia||Sydney United Juniors FC (Football NSW)|
|Luka PRSO||Wellington Phoenix FC, New Zealand||Castle Hill United FC (Football NSW)|
|Nicholas SUMAN (Gk)||Macarthur FC, Australia||Colo Cougars SFC (Football NSW)|
|Callum TALBOT||Sydney FC, Australia||Gymea United FC (Football NSW)|
|Marc TOKICH||Mjallby AIF, Sweden||Canberra Croatia FC (Capital Football)|
|Patrick WOOD||Sydney FC, Australia||Collaroy Cromer Strikers FC (Football NSW)|
|Patrick YAZBEK||Sydney FC, Australia||Austral Soccer Club (Football NSW)|