A-League dominates Young Socceroos squad

Young Socceroos coach Paul Okon has named a largely Australian-based squad for the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation U19 Youth Championship in Vietnam.

The 20-member squad includes 17 players from the ranks of A-League clubs along with Shayne D’Cunha (Blacktown City) hailing from the NSW NPL.

Harry Ascroft (VVV Venlo, The Netherlands) and Peter Skapetis (Stoke City FC, England) are the only overseas-based players named.

The Young Socceroos, who fly out for Vietnam on Monday, have drawn a tough group with hosts Vietnam and Asian powerhouse Japan.

The tournament, held in Hanoi from September 5-13, will be vital preparation for the team’s AFC U-19 Championship tilt in Myanmar the following month.

The quarter-finalists from that championship will qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in New Zealand next year.

“This is another opportunity for us to get more international match experience against competitive opposition in the lead up to the AFC U-19 Championship,” Okon said.

“The two group matches against Vietnam and Japan within three days will be a good challenge for us in conditions we are likely to face in Myanmar in October.

“From these matches we will be able to assess the level of preparedness of each player.”

Okon said there was everything to play for.

“At this stage no player is assured a position in the final squad for the AFC U-19 Championship and their performance at this tournament will be an important factor when it comes to selection time,” he said.

The Young Socceroos have been placed in Group B and will face host nation Vietnam in their first match of the tournament on Friday September 5, followed by Japan two days later.

The top two teams from the group will then advance to the semi-finals where they will face either Myanmar, Indonesia or Thailand on Thursday September 11.

The final and 3rd place play-off will to be played on Saturday September 13.

Young Socceroos Squad:

Daniel Alessi (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Harry Ascroft (VVV Venlo, The Netherlands)
George Blackwood (Apia Leichhardt/Sydney FC NYL)
Shannon Brady (Brisbane Roar)
Brandon Borrello (Brisbane Roar)
Anthony Bouzanis (gk, Sydney FC)
Jordan Brown (Melbourne Victory)
Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory)
Shayne D’Cunha (Blacktown City)
Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory)
Ben Garuccio (Melbourne City)
Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC)
Paul Izzo (gk, Adelaide United)
Awer Mabil (Adelaide United)
Stefan Mauk (Melbourne City)
Christopher Naumoff (Sydney FC)
Liam Rose (Central Coast Mariners)
Peter Skapetis (Stoke City FC, England)
Jaushua Sotirio (Western Sydney Wanderers)