21 Hyundai A-League prospects called up for Young Socceroos camp

Twenty-four aspiring Australian footballers will convene on the Central Coast on Saturday for the start of a Young Socceroos training camp in preparation for the 2018 AFC U19 Championship which will be held in Indonesia.

The Young Socceroos will be put through a week-long camp on the Central Coast, which will include practice matches against Hyundai A-League opposition.

The time that Ante Milicic’s squad spends together north of Sydney will be the first of two Australia-based camps that will be held prior to the AFC U19 Championship later this year. A Young Socceroos selection will also train on the Sunshine Coast in late September/early October.

Milicic’s Young Socceroos squad for this camp includes 21 players currently aligned to Hyundai A-League clubs, and three players – Ben Folami, Jacob Young, and Dylan Ryan – who are contracted to clubs in England. Folami plies his trade with Ipswich Town FC, Young is part of Sunderland AFC’s youth structure, while Ryan is contracted to Willem II Tilburg in the Netherlands.

Milicic said that the group must make the most of their time together in camp as they prepare for their Group C meetings against Korea Republic, Vietnam, and Jordan in West Java.

“The AFC U19 Championship is a crucial competition for the Young Socceroos,” said Milicic. “Not only does it act as the Asian Cup for this age group, it also doubles as the qualification process for the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup™, which will be held in Poland.”

“Australia last qualified for FIFA U20 World Cup in 2013 when the tournament was held in Turkey, and it is certainly our aim to return to that elite tournament in Europe next year.

“But if we are to achieve that goal we must ensure that we make solid progress in our forthcoming camps in Australia, and arrive in Indonesia committed to the challenge that’s ahead of us,” he said.

The Young Socceroos’ 2018 AFC U19 Championship challenge will commence on Friday, 19 October 2018 against Korea Republic at the Patriot Candrabaga Stadium in Bekasi. Three days later Milicic’s men will return to the same venue to take on Vietnam, before meeting Jordan at the Pakandari Stadium in Cibinong on Thursday, 25 October 2018.

Australia will need to finish first or second in Group C to advance to the Quarter Final stage of the competition. To seal safe passage to Poland, the Young Socceroos must reach the Semi Finals of the 2018 AFC U19 Championship.

Young Socceroos 24-Player Squad – Training Camp – Central Coast, Australia (September 1-11 2018)

Nathaniel Atkinson - Melbourne City
Joshua Cavallo - Melbourne City
Mathieu Cordier - Western Sydney Wanderers
James Delianov (GK) - Melbourne City
Gengba Tai (Ben) Folami - Ipswich Town, England
Macklin Freke (GK) - Brisbane Roar
Thierry (Theil) Iradukunda - Melbourne Victory
Peter Kekeris - Central Coast Mariners
Connor Metcalfe - Melbourne City
Fabian Monge - Western Sydney Wanderers
Tass Mourdoukoutas - Western Sydney Wanderers
Moudi Najjar - Melbourne City
Ramy Najjarine - Melbourne City
Dylan Pierias - Melbourne City
Oliver Puflett -  Western Sydney Wanderers
Aaron Reardon - Brisbane Roar
John Roberts - Western Sydney Wanderers
Dylan Ryan - Willem II Tilburg, Netherlands
Walter Scott - Perth Glory
Nicolas Sette - Melbourne Victory
Apostolos Stametelopoulos - Adelaide United
Angus Thurgate - Newcastle Jets
Marc Tokich - Western Sydney Wanderers
Jacob Young - Sunderland, England

Young Socceroos Match Schedule – 2018 AFC U19 Championship – Group C

Korea Republic v Young Socceroos
Date: Friday, 19 October 2018
Venue: Patriot Candrabaga Stadium, Bekasi, Indonesia
Kick-off: 7pm (local); 10pm (AEDT)

Young Socceroos v Vietnam
Date: Monday, 22 October 2018
Venue: Patriot Candrabaga Stadium, Bekasi, Indonesia
Kick-off: 4pm (local); 7pm (AEDT)

Young Socceroos v Jordan
Date: Thursday, 25 October 2018
Venue: Pakandari Stadium, Cibinong, Indonesia
Kick-off: 7pm (local); 10pm (AEDT)