Arnold names 24-player Olyroos squad ahead of Asian Championship qualifiers

Arnold names 24-player Olyroos squad ahead of Asian Championship qualifiers

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Olyroos Head Coach Graham Arnold has named a preliminary, 24-player squad of Australia’s best U23 prospects ahead of upcoming 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualifiers against Cambodia, Taiwan and South Korea.

Naming his first squad in what will be his second stint in charge of Australia’s U23s, Arnold – who juggles the Olyroos role with his duties as Head Coach of the Socceroos – will whittle his selections down by one after a week-long camp in Kuala Lumpur, which will include warm-up fixtures against Petaling Jaya City FC and a Malaysian U22 outfit.

His then 23-player squad will then travel on to Phnom Penh for Group H games against Cambodia on 22 March, Taiwan on 24 March and South Korea on 26 March.

A first-place finish in Group H would automatically seal Australia’s progression to the U23 AFC Championships, as would securing the status of one of the four best second-placed sides in qualifying.

The fifth-best second-placed team from the 11 groups will also qualify in the event that Thailand – who have qualified automatically for 2020 as the host nation – finish as either Group K winners or as one of the four best runners-up.

The 2020 AFC U23 Championships will then serve as the qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

16 of the players selected by Arnold feature for sides based within the A-League, with the other eight residing in squads in Europe and Asia.

With the qualifiers being held during a FIFA window, A-League players within Arnold’s squad are slated to only miss round 22 of the season due to their selection.

Former Melbourne Victory starlets Pierce Waring (now with Japanese side Cerezo Osaka) and Seb Pasquali (Now with Ajax but heavily linked to new A-League side Western United) made the cut, as did Melbourne City product Denis Genreau (now with Dutch side PEC Zwolle).

Furthermore, two of the players selected – Melbourne Victory’s Thomas Deng and NAC Breda’s Alex Gersbach – have been capped for the Socceroos.

“We have had three short camps in Canberra with the squad and during that time we have looked at 38 players,” Arnold said after the squad’s announcement.

“The week that we have together in Kuala Lumpur will be vital in preparing us for the challenges that we will face in Phnom Penh, and we certainly appreciate the support of all the clubs that are releasing their players to participate in what is an important tournament for Australia.”

“While we are in Malaysia, we will develop our key principles of play and focus on how we believe we can successfully navigate Group H and secure our place at next year’s AFC U-23 Championship in Thailand.

“Our three matches in Cambodia represent our first step on the path to next year’s Olympic Games, and everyone involved with our squad is eager to help Australia return to the men’s football tournament for the first time since Beijing in 2008.”

Australian U-23 National Team Squad | 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers 

Name

Club, Country

Nathaniel ATKINSON

Melbourne City FC, Australia

Keanu BACCUS

Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia

George BLACKWOOD

Adelaide United, Australia

Jake BRIMMER

Perth Glory FC, Australia

Joseph CHAMPNESS

Newcastle Jets FC, Australia

Nicholas D’AGOSTINO

Brisbane Roar FC, Australia

Thomas DENG

Melbourne Victory FC, Australia

Denis GENREAU

PEC Zwolle, Netherlands

Alex GERSBACH

NAC Breda, Netherlands

Thomas GLOVER (Gk)

Tottenham Hotspur, England

Jordan HOLMES (Gk)

St Mirren, Scotland

John KOUTROUMBIS

Newcastle Jets FC, Australia

Abraham MAJOK

Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia

Daniel MARGUSH (Gk)

Adelaide United, Australia

Riley MCGREE

Melbourne City FC, Australia

Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS

Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia

Aiden O’NEILL

Central Coast Mariners FC, Australia

Sebastian PASQUALI

Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands

Reno PISCOPO

AC Renate, Italy

Harry SOUTTAR

Stoke City, England

Ivan VUJICA

Newcastle Jets FC, Australia

Lachlan WALES

Melbourne City FC, Australia

Pierce WARING

Cerezo Osaka, Japan

Brandon WILSON

Perth Glory FC, Australia

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