Aurelio Vidmar has named a strong Olyroos (Australian U23) squad for two matches against Turkey and FYR Macedonia in early September, as part of preparations for January’s Olympic Games qualifiers (AFC U23 Championships) in Doha.
The squad contains 10 players from the Hyundai A-League as well as six players who have been included in recent Socceroos squads under Ange Postecoglou; Josh Brillante, Terry Antonis, Daniel de Silva, Chris Ikonomidis, Adam Taggart and Brad Smith.
Vidmar is looking forward to using these two matches to test his players ahead of the upcoming tournament
“These two matches against quality strong opposition are an important part of our preparations leading into next January.
“It will be a difficult challenge for us with the players in the squad at various stages of preparation ranging from being in season, in pre-season or in some cases uncontracted, but we are confident that these issues will be resolved by October.
“There are a number of new faces included as well and this will be their chance to see if they can fit into the playing group.
“There are only a limited number of opportunities left for the players to claim a place in the final squad before we head to Doha in January and these matches will be a critical part of that process,” concluded Vidmar.
The Olyroos take on Turkey in Istanbul on September 4 and FYR Macedonia in Skopje on September 7.
The Olyroos and the Turkish U21 Men’s National team will play for the Friendship Cup which coincides with the Centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.
Whilst in Turkey, the Olyroos will also hold a special training session for disadvantaged local children as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, year-long cultural festival ‘Australia in Turkey 2015’, with cultural events and performances taking place throughout September.
The Olyroos will learn of their group opponents for the AFC U23 Championship when the draw is held on 12 September in Doha.
Olyroos Squad for Turkey and FYR Macedonia matches 4-7 September 2015
Jack DUNCAN (Randers FC, Denmark), Jason GERIA (Melbourne Victory FC), Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO (Swansea FC, England), James DONACHIE (Brisbane Roar FC) Milos DEGENEK (1860 Munich, Germany), Joshua BRILLANTE (Empoli, Italy), Andrew HOOLE (Sydney FC), Ryan EDWARDS (Uncontracted), Jamie MACLAREN (Brisbane Roar FC), Mustafa AMINI (Randers FC, Denmark), Connor PAIN (Melbourne Victory FC) John HALL (Adelaide United FC), Brandon BORRELLO (Brisbane Roar FC), Terry ANTONIS (PAOK FC, Greece), Scott GALLOWAY (Melbourne Victory FC), Steven UGARKOVIC (NK Osijek, Croatia), Daniel DE SILVA (Roda JC Kerkrade, Netherlands), Paul IZZO (Central Coast Mariners FC), Cameron BURGESS (Fulham FC, England), Riley WOODCOCK (Sydney FC), Chris IKONOMIDIS (SS Lazio, Italy), Adam TAGGART (Fulham FC, England), Brad SMITH (Uncontracted).
Turkey U21 v Australia U22
4 September 2015
Kasimpasa Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium, stanbul, Turkey
Kick-Off: 8.30pm (local) (3:30am AEST, 5 Sept)
Macedonia U21 v Australia U22
7 September 2015
FF Macedonia Training Centre – Skopje, FYR Macedonia
Kick-Off: TBC (local)