Gary van Egmond will get his first chance to run the rule over Australia’s best U20 talent later this month; with the announcement on Thursday morning of a 30-player training camp ahead of August’s AFF U18 Championships.
Named to the Young Socceroos post in late June after previously serving as an assistant with the Matildas and as the boss of the Young Matildas, the July 28 to August 2 camp will serve as preparation for van Egmond’s first tournament in charge in his new role.
Drawn in a group alongside Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, Australia will be seeking to finish as one of the two best finishers of their grouping to set up a match in the tournament’s semi-finals against one of Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Timor-Leste, Philippines, and Brunei.
The final will then be contested on August 19 in Thong Nhat.
Though he won’t be present in Canberra, Thursday’s announcement did confirm that Burnley FC goalkeeper Kai Calderbank-Park – who had received interest from the Welsh Football Federation – would be a part of the playing list for the upcoming tournament.
Western Sydney Wanderers are the most heavily represented of the A-League sides in van Egmond’s training camp; set to send five representatives to the nation’s capital. Melbourne City will send four players – including three of its four staring NPL defenders – whilst Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar, Adelaide United and Perth Glory will send three.
Kristian Popovic, who logged minutes against global superpowers Manchester United and is the teenage son of Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic, is among the representatives making his way across the Nullarbor.
Central Coast Mariners will send two prospects to Canberra and the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory will send one.
Three NPL NSW sides will also send representatives to the camp in the form of John Roberts (Mt Druitt Town Ranges), Thomas Aquilina (Sutherland Sharks), Harry Mccarthy (Manly United). NPL SA will also be represented with the news that Brikalla SC will send goalkeeper Jasper Kelley.
Though not tied to any further tournaments, the 2019 AFF U18 Championships will serve as important preparation for the Young Socceroos and their new gaffer ahead of the commencement of qualifying for the 2021 U20 World Cup later this year.
Australia will begin their quest to end an eight-year absence from that competition this November when they travel to Taiwan for qualification games against Group H opponents Taiwan, Macau and Laos.
Topping that group – or finishing as one of the four best runners up – will ensure progression the 2020 AFC U19 Championship, which will, in turn, serve as qualification for the 2021 World Cup.
Young Socceroos 30-Player Squad | Training Camp (July 28 – August 2, 2019) | Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra
|Thomas AQUILINA||Sutherland Sharks FC (NSW)|
|Bryce BAFFORD||Perth Glory FC|
|Jay BARNETT||Melbourne Victory FC|
|Lachlan BROOK||Adelaide United FC|
|Jarrod CARLUCCIO||Western Sydney Wanderers FC|
|Bradley CHICK||Melbourne City FC|
|Lochlan CONSTABLE||Western Sydney Wanderers FC|
|Louis D’ARRIGO||Adelaide United FC|
|Thomas FAY||Sydney FC|
|Mitchell GRAHAM||Melbourne City FC|
|Lachlan HUNTER (Gk)||Brisbane Roar FC|
|Gianluca IANNUCCI||Melbourne City FC|
|Noah JAMES (Gk)||Newcastle Jets FC|
|Michael KATSOULIS||Central Coast Mariners FC|
|Jasper KELLEY (Gk)||Brikalla SC (SA)|
|Jai KING||Adelaide United FC|
|Jackson LEE (Gk)||Perth Glory FC|
|Harry MCCARTHY||Manly United FC (NSW)|
|Alec MILLS||Melbourne City FC|
|Fabian MONGE||Western Sydney Wanderers FC|
|Noah PAGDEN||Western Sydney Wanderers FC|
|Kristian POPOVIC||Perth Glory FC|
|Hassan RAMAZANI||Brisbane Roar FC|
|John ROBERTS||Mt Druitt Rangers FC (NSW)|
|Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ||Central Coast Mariners FC|
|Callum TALBOT||Sydney FC|
|Marco TILIO||Sydney FC|
|Kai TREWIN||Brisbane Roar FC|
|Jacob VASILIOU||Western Sydney Wanderers FC|