Preview: Australia U-23 v New Zealand U-23

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is final destination Australia’s U-23 squad are looking to get to, but the first steps in that quest begin on home soil this week.

The young Aussies welcome their New Zealand counterparts to town for a two-game friendly series in Wollongong (Friday, September 6) and Campbelltown (Monday, September 9).

SQUAD: Australia U-23 squad named to face New Zealand U-23
DETAILS: Australia U-23 to play New Zealand U-23 in two-match series

The Trans-Tasman tussle is the perfect tune-up for the Australian squad which will travel to Thailand in January to compete in the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship.

With a top-three finish in Thailand needed to qualify for Tokyo 2020, the series against the young Kiwis is ideal preparation for Graham Arnold’s troops.


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What they said

Young Socceroos Head Coach Gary van Egmond (who oversees the squad for these games)

“This squad is starting to spend a lot of valuable time together, after the qualification tournament in March in Cambodia, these games in NSW and more planned before the end of the year, we think we will be well placed once the Olympic qualifiers come around.

“The majority of our squad stems from the Hyundai A-League and it gives these young players an opportunity to continue to work towards a goal we have set, the first qualification at the Olympics for an Australian men’s team since 2008.”

Gary van Egmond
Young Socceroos boss Gary van Egmond will oversee the Australian U-23's against New Zealand

Australian U-23 midfielder Aiden O’Neill

“There’s nothing better than putting on the Australian jersey and representing your country and your family proudly.

“I’m just excited to be getting back in with the boys and working towards our goal which is qualifying for the Olympics.”

Form

Australia U23's last five matches: DWWDL

New Zealand U23’s last five matches: WWDWW

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International Friendlies – Australia U-23 v New Zealand U-23

Date: Friday, 6 September 2019
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEST
Tickets: Available at www.socceroos.com.au

Date: Monday, 9 September 2019
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium, Campbelltown
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEST
Tickets: Available at www.socceroos.com.au