Australian U17 Head Coach Trevor Morgan has unveiled a 20-player squad of the best and brightest young talent Australia has to offer ahead of his Joeys’ upcoming tour of Turkey.
Morgan guided Australia’s youth to their first U17 World Cup since 2015 at the 2018 AFC U16 Championships; the Joeys advancing to the semi-finals of the tournament before being downed by eventual champions Japan.
Nonetheless, that final four berth meant that the Joeys – alongside Japan, South Korea and Tajikistan – ensured that they would represent Asia at the U17 World Cup to be held in Peru in October.
As part of the preparations for that tournament, the Joeys will travel to Antalya in Turkey to compete in a UEFA hosted youth tournament next month.
Australia will meet host nation Turkey on 4 March in their first hit-out at the competition, before clashing with Tanzania on 6 March and ending their Turkish odyssey with a clash with Guinea on 8 March.
Australia is the only nation that resides outside of Europe and Africa that will be present in Turkey; with the competition to also feature teams from Morocco, Cameroon, Uganda, Montenegro, Senegal, Angola, Nigeria, and Belarus.
Of the 20 players named in Morgan’s squad, 13 come from A-League clubs – Melbourne City and Sydney FC the best-represented with three apiece – while two come from New South Wales NPL clubs – including 2018 AFC U16 Championship talisman Noah Botic of Rockdale City – and five from European based sides.
Former Perth Glory standout Riley Warland of Fulham FC highlights the European contingent, the defender joined by Diego Alonso of Valencia in Spain, Doni Grdic of HNK Sibenik in Croatia, Tristan Hammond of Sporting Lisbon in Portugal and Caleb Watts of Southampton in the Premier League.
“A key focus in the first half of 2019 is on searching for new talent to build depth in the Joeys,” Morgan said
“We need to have several options for each position, so competition is high for places at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
“This tournament in Turkey provides much-needed experience in high-level games against teams we don’t normally get to play, and the opportunity for new players to show what they can do at international level.
“We have been monitoring many players over the past few months, speaking with club Technical Directors, and watching players as much as possible on video and live at matches and training.
“My recent trip to Europe has been fruitful, and the 20 players selected will include five overseas-based players. This is not the end though, we know there are more players out there that deserve an opportunity.
“I’d like to thank the team at FFA who have been working towards establishing strong relationships with UEFA, which led to this opportunity.”
Joeys 20-Player Squad | 2019 UEFA Invitational Tournament (Antalya, Turkey)
|Idrus ABDULAHI||Melbourne City FC, Australia|
|Diego ALONSO||Valencia CF, Spain|
|Zaydan BELLO||Melbourne Victory, Australia|
|Noah BOTIC||Rockdale City Suns FC, Australia|
|Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia|
|Luke DUZEL||Melbourne City FC, Australia|
|Doni GRDIC||HNK Sibenik, Croatia|
|Tristan HAMMOND||Sporting Lisbon, Portugal|
|Zenden HART (Gk)||Central Coast Mariners, Australia|
|Birkan KIRDAR||Melbourne Victory, Australia|
|Adam PAVLESIC (Gk)||Sydney FC, Australia|
|Izaack POWELL||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia|
|Michael RUHS||Sydney United 58, Australia|
|Jack SIMMONS||Newcastle Jets, Australia|
|Ryan TEAGUE||Sydney FC, Australia|
|Jayden TRENKOSKI||Sydney FC, Australia|
|Joshua VARGA||Melbourne City FC, Australia|
|Daniel WALSH||Perth Glory FC, Australia|
|Riley WARLAND||Fulham FC, England|
|Caleb WATTS||Southampton FC, England|