A-League players miss season start for Olyroos

Olyroos Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar has named a 23-player squad for two international friendly matches against the Korea Republic in Hwaseong and Incheon next month.

Vidmar selected 13 overseas-based players, seven A-League players with Aaron Lennox, Ryan Edwards and Brad Smith currently uncontracted.

The friendlies mean Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners will all lose players for the start of the A-League season.

Victory will be without Connor Pain, Jason Geria and Scott Galloway while the Sky Blues lose new signing Andrew Hoole and Chris Naumoff.

Roar’s James Donachie has been called up as well as Mariners goalkeeper, Paul Izzo.

Last weekend’s draw for the AFC U-23 Championship saw the Olyroos grouped with United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Jordan.

Vidmar can now focus on the task of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.

"These matches are another important step in our preparations for the Olympic qualifiers in January,” Vidmar said.

“Korea Republic will provide strong opposition as we head towards the qualifiers and gives us the opportunity to work on a few things and keep improving so we give ourselves the best possible opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games.

“The spirit among the players is fantastic, they’re keen to learn and be part of the Olyroos so we’re really looking forward to these matches.”

The Olyroos will face the Korea Republic in two friendly matches on October 9 and 12 at the Hwaseong Sports Complex Stadium and Icheon Sports Complex Stadium respectively.

Australia begins its AFC U-23 Championship Doha 2016 campaign against the United Arab Emirates on January 14at the Grand Hamad Stadium, before taking on Vietnam at the same venue on January 17, with their final group match against Jordan on 20 January at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium.

In all, 16 nations have qualified for the AFC U-23 Championship in Doha with only the top three progressing to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

OLYROOS SQUAD

Mustafa AMINI, Randers FC, Denmark

Josh BRILLANTE, Calcio Como, Italy

Cameron BURGESS, Fulham FC, England

Milos DEGENEK, 1860 Munich, Germany

James DONACHIE, Brisbane Roar FC

Kenneth DOUGALL, Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands

Jack DUNCAN (gk), Randers FC, Denmark

Ryan EDWARDS, uncontracted

Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, Swansea FC, England

Scott GALLOWAY, Melbourne Victory FC

Jason GERIA, Melbourne Victory FC

Aaron LENNOX (gk), uncontracted

Andrew HOOLE, Sydney FC

Chris IKONOMIDIS, SS Lazio, Italy

Jackson IRVINE, Ross County, Scotland

Paul IZZO (gk), Central Coast Mariners

Christopher NAUMOFF, Sydney FC

Connor PAIN, Melbourne Victory FC

Brad SMITH, uncontracted

Adam TAGGART, Fulham FC, England

Steven UGARKOVIC, NK Osijek, Croatia

Ryan WILLIAMS, Barnsley, England

Kwame YEBOAH, Borussia Monchengladbach II, Germany

(Photo - footballaustralia.com.au)