Okon draws on A-League for AFC U-19 Championship

Young Socceroos head coach Paul Okon has drawn heavily on the A-League in naming his squad for the AFC U-19 Championship in Myanmar next month.

The 23-player roster includes Cameron Burgess (Fulham FC, England), Chris Ikonomidis (SS Lazio, Italy) and Peter Skapetis (Stoke City FC, England) as the only three overseas-based players.

Shayne D’Cunha from the NSW NPL competition has also been included.

The top four teams from the tournament will qualify for next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

The squad selection means A-League clubs – already missing Socceroos to Asian friendlies next month - will be denied the services of their rising stars for the start of the 2014-15 season.

The Young Socceroos face the United Arab Emirates in their first match of the tournament before taking on Indonesia and then Uzbekistan in Group B.

The top two teams from the group will advance to the quarter-finals where they will face the top two teams from Group A (Myanmar, I.R. Iran, Thailand or Yemen).

Okon said he was optimistic about his team’s chances heading into the tournament.

“We have had a good preparation leading into the tournament with a number of tours and camps where we have faced quality opposition,” Okon said.

“Unfortunately we have experienced a couple of injuries to the group recently, with Ben Garruccio (ankle) and Jordan Lyden (hamstring) ruled out of selection, but this has given opportunities for other players to step-up.

“We fly out tomorrow (Wednesday) for a pre-tournament camp in Thailand where our overseas-based players will join us.

“This will allow us to acclimatise to similar conditions we will face in Myanmar and put the finishing touches on our game plan.

“Our goal is to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and to achieve this goal we will need to string together four quality performances,” concluded Okon.

Young Socceroos Squad - AFC U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – Myanmar - 9-23 October 2014

Daniel Alessi ( Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Shannon Brady (Brisbane Roar FC), Brandon Borrello (Brisbane Roar), Anthony Bouzanis (gk, Sydney FC), Jordan Brown (Melbourne Victory), Cameron Burgess (Fulham FC, England), Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory), Shayne D’Cunha (Blacktown City),Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory), Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC), Chris Ikonomidis (SS Lazio, Italy), Paul Izzo (gk, Adelaide United), Awer Mabil (Adelaide United), Stefan Mauk (Melbourne City FC), Dylan Murnane (Melbourne Victory), Christopher Naumoff (Sydney FC), Mark Ochieng ( Adelaide United), Liam Rose (Central Coast Mariners), Peter Skapetis (Stoke City FC, England), Jaushua Sotirio (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Jordan Thurtell (gk,Perth Glory) Benjamin Warland (Adelaide United), Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory),

AFC U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – Myanmar - 9-23 October 2014

Group B Young Socceroos matches

October 10, 2014

AUSTRALIA v UAE

Kick-off: 6:30pm (local time) 11pm (AEST)

Youth Training Centre, Yangon

October 12, 2014

INDONESIA v AUSTRALIA

Kick-off: 3.3opm (local time) 8pm (AEST)

Youth Training Centre, Yangon

October 14, 2014

UZBEKISTAN v AUSTRALIA

Kick-off: 6.30pm (local time) 11pm (AEST)            

Youth Training Centre, Yangon