Van Egmond excited for rep players

Losing five players for three weeks would be a body-blow for most clubs, but Gary van Egmond is pleased his players are representing Australia.

Losing five members of a Hyundai A-League squad for three weeks in the middle of the season would be a body-blow for most clubs, but Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond is pleased a host of his players are away representing the Young Socceroos.

For the next three weeks the Jets will be without Adam Taggart, Connor Chapman, Josh Brillante, Mitchell Oxborrow and Jack Duncan, who are all part of the 23-man Young Socceroos squad competing in the AFC Under-19 Championship held in the United Arab Emirates.

While van Egmond agreed he would love to have those youngsters in the mix for the next three A-League games for Newcastle, he is excited for the players.

"We are happy that we have five players that have made the Young Socceroos," Van Egmond said.

"For those players to get that recognition to represent their country is fantastic - there is no greater honour in sport and that is the most important thing that you need to keep on recognising.

"Of course it impacts us as a club because we'd like to use them back here in Newcastle but the experience that they gain from that is invaluable.

"International football is not something you can get just playing in Australia so we are very happy that they have been selected."

Van Egmond said he had even pushed the case of 17-year-old midfielder Oxborrow to have him included in the national squad.

"I rang (Australian Under-19 assistant coach) Milan Blagojevic about Mitchell Oxborrow when there was a trial match early in the piece prior to them going to Portugal to have a look at him because I thought they might not have known about him and for them to come and have a look at him," Van Egmond revealed.

"Consequently Mitchell went to Portugal and they have liked what they have seen and they have selected him in the final squad, so it is more about promoting the players."

Van Egmond, who was part of the coaching staff at the Australian Institute of Sport between 2009 and 2011, said he signed a host of young players knowing that they were likely to be selected in representative teams.

He stressed that one must not lose sight of the bigger picture in Australian football, and that is to produce players that will represent the Socceroos and be the future of football in this country.

As a by-product of that, clubs will benefit from having players with international experience.

"You have to understand the chain of command and that is national team and then A-League and you go further down the list," he said.

"Those players will gain absolutely invaluable experience playing in tournaments like this.

"We are hoping that they qualify and get the opportunity to go to a World Cup and there are not many people in Australia who get to experience that.

"To be one of those lucky players is a great privilege."

The Qantas Young Socceroos have been drawn in a group that features Qatar, Syria and Saudi Arabia with the top two teams from each group progressing to the quarter-finals.

The semi-finalists will also automatically qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup which will be held in Turkey in June/July 2013.