Australia’s preparations for this year’s U17 World Cup have kicked up a gear, with Head Coach Trevor Morgan today announcing the participants of a training camp in Canberra ahead of the junior showcase.
30 prospective Joeys will converge on the nation’s capital between July 11 and 18, all fighting to earn their place on the plane to Brazil.
A-League capped Izaack Powell (Brisbane Roar), Idrus Abdulahi (Melbourne City) and Jack Simmons (Newcastle Jets) headline the talent named by Morgan, the trio part of the 20 players strong A-League contingent headed to the AIS-based camp.
Melbourne City and Sydney FC will contribute a third of the prospects heading to the camp; the A-League’s two sky blue sides sending five players each.
Of the ten without A-League clubs, four players – Nicholas Bilokapic (Sydney United), Noah Botic (Rockdale City Suns), Michael Ruhs (Sydney United) and Lachlan Sepping (Marconi) – will come from the ranks of NPL NSW clubs whilst six – Diego Alonso (Albacete CF), Tim Caroutas (UE Cornella), Doni Grdic (HNK Sibenik), Emmanuel Pavlis (Panionios FC), Akiel Raffie (Fleetwood Town) and Caleb Watts (Southampton) – will come from overseas.
Qualifying for the World Cup after earning a semi-finals berth in the 2018 AFC U16 Championships, the Joeys most recently competed in the UEFA ASSIST Tournament in Turkey back in March.
Beginning that tournament with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the host nation, the Joeys the suffered a 3-2 defeat against Tanzania before ending play with a 2-2 draw against Guinea.
The Joeys will find out their group stage opponents at the 2019 U17 World Cup on the first day of camp; the draw set to take place on July 11.
“As we continue to build depth and unearth new talent for the Joeys, this camp will offer a great chance for some new players to show what they can contribute to our campaign for Brazil,” Morgan said.
“Right now, the focus is on us, preparing to play with confidence in our own ability and with a positive team mentality. In camp we will reinforce key themes that are central to our identity.
“We will also see the World Cup draw next week, know our group and begin analysing how our strengths can threaten our opponents.
“This group of players has been evolving over the last two years and they have earned the right to play in a World Cup. Their actions give the staff a strong belief that they will represent Australia in the way we like to see our teams both on and off the pitch.”
Morgan and his staff are set to have their hands full in coming months, with qualification for the 2020 edition of the AFC U16 Championship set to commence a month before the World Cup in September.
Drawn alongside Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Mongolia and Macau, Australia will need to top their group to guarantee their place at the 2020 tournament or be forced to sweat it out to see if they are one of the five best second-placed finishers.
However, that task will fall to a younger group than the players set to head to Canberra; only players born after January 1, 2004, will be eligible to take part in those qualifiers.
Joeys 30-Player Squad | Training Camp (11-18 July 2019) | Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia
|Idrus ABDULAHI||Melbourne City FC, Australia|
|Diego ALONSO||Albacete CF, Spain|
|Ali AUGLAH||Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia|
|Zaydan BELLO||Melbourne Victory, Australia|
|Nicholas BILOKAPIC (Gk)||Sydney United 58, Australia|
|Noah BOTIC||Rockdale City Suns FC, Australia|
|Tim CAROUTAS||UE Cornella, Spain|
|Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia|
|Yaya DUKULY||Melbourne City FC, Australia|
|Luke DUZEL||Melbourne City FC, Australia|
|Doni GRDIC||HNK Sibenik, Croatia|
|Oliver KALAC (Gk)||Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia|
|Birkan KIRDAR||Melbourne Victory, Australia|
|Anton MLINARIC||Sydney FC, Australia|
|Trent OSTLER||Perth Glory FC, Australia|
|Adam PAVLESIC (Gk)||Sydney FC, Australia|
|Emmanuel PAVLIS||Panionios FC, Greece|
|Cameron PEUPION||Sydney FC, Australia|
|Izaack POWELL||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia|
|Akiel RAFFIE||Fleetwood Town, England|
|Michael RUHS||Sydney United 58, Australia|
|Lachlan SEPPING||Marconi Stallions, Australia|
|Jack SIMMONS||Newcastle Jets FC, Australia|
|Ahmad TALEB (Gk)||Melbourne City FC, Australia|
|Ryan TEAGUE||Sydney FC, Australia|
|Jayden TRENKOSKI||Sydney FC, Australia|
|Joshua VARGA||Melbourne City FC, Australia|
|Daniel WALSH||Perth Glory FC, Australia|
|Nicholas WALSH||Perth Glory FC, Australia|
|Caleb WATTS||Southampton FC, England|