Australian U17 Head Coach Trevor Morgan has finalised his 23-player squad that will compete at qualifiers for the AFC U16 Championships later this month.
One of the busiest men in Australian football, Morgan is currently in Britain with a Joeys group that is in the midst of preparations for the 2019 U17 World Cup in Brazil.
The squad named on Thursday, however, is made up of an age cohort below those that will jet off to the Junior showcase this October and November. Instead, they will hope to take the first step on a journey that will see them compete at the 2021 U17 World Cup this month in Vietnam.
Drawn in Group H for AFC qualifiers, the Joeys will travel to Hanoi for games against the host nation, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, and Macau needing to top their group or finish as one of the four best second-placed finishers from the eleven qualification groups.
Australia will open their campaign against Mongolia on 16 September before then clashing with Macau on 18 September and Timor-Leste on 20 September.
They will then conclude with a game against the Vietnamese on 22 September.
Should they advance to the AFC U16 Championships, Australia would then need to reach the quarterfinals to secure a place as one of Asia’s four representatives at the World Cup.
With Morgan in Britain, the Joeys will be guided through a training camp at the AIS ahead of their departure for Vietnam by Assistant Coach Michael Cooper. He will be assisted by Airton Andrioli from Football Federation South Australia and Pat Hedges from Football Queensland.
“Many of the players involved in our squad for the upcoming fixtures in Hanoi recently played their first international matches at the 2019 AFF U-15 Championship in Thailand,” Morgan said on the squad’s announcement.
“We could see the growth of many of the players as they secured three wins and a draw from their five games in Chonburi, and during this qualification tournament, we are expecting to see further development individually and collectively with the sizeable prize in the form of qualification for the 2020 AFC U-16 Championship on the line.
“We will also welcome some new players into the group for the trip to Vietnam, and I am excited to see how they adapt to the challenge and opportunity of representing our nation at youth level.”
Joeys 23-Player Squad | 2020 AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers (Group H) | September 14 – 22 2019 | Hanoi, Vietnam
|Joseph CALUSIC||Sydney FC, New South Wales|
|Ethan COX (Gk)||FFSA NTC, South Australia|
|Massimo D’ARGENIO||Moreland Zebras, Victoria|
|Alex DENMEAD||Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales|
|Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH||Sydney FC, New South Wales|
|Daniel HELWEH||Marconi Stallions, New South Wales|
|Alessandro LOPANE||Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales|
|Thomas LOPEZ||Marconi Stallions, New South Wales|
|Lachlan MACDONALD||Sutherland Sharks FC, New South Wales|
|Alexander MENELAOU||Melbourne City FC, Victoria|
|Aiden MOSTOFI||Sydney FC, New South Wales|
|Nathan NGUYEN||Brisbane Roar FC, Queensland|
|James NIEUWENHUIZEN (Gk)||Goulburn Valley Suns FC, Victoria|
|Bernardo OLIVEIRA||FFSA NTC, South Australia|
|Nicholas PANUCCIO||Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales|
|Joshua RAWLINS||Perth Glory FC, Western Australia|
|Matthew SCARCELLA||Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales|
|Adrian SEGECIC||Sydney FC, New South Wales|
|Luka SMYTH||Sydney FC, New South Wales|
|Thomas STOBIERSKI||Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales|
|Mohamed TOURE||FFSA NTC, South Australia|
|Aiki TSUKAMOTO||Perth Glory FC, Western Australia|
|Jack WARSHAWSKY (Gk)||Brisbane Roar FC, Queensland|