Olyroos squad named for Olympic qualifiers

The Olyroos final leg on the Road to Rio begins in earnest with coach Aurelio Vidmar naming a strong 23-man squad for next month's AFC U-23 Championship.  

The Championships, held in Doha from January14-30, are the final round of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Socceroos Chris Ikonomidis, Josh Brillante, Adam Taggart and Terry Antonis headline a squad that also includes overseas-based starlets Daniel de Silva and Mustafa Amini as well as 12 players from the Hyundai A-League.

But A-League Champions and Premiers Melbourne Victory will be the hardest hit, losing five players to the Olyroos.

Thomas Deng, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Scott Galloway, Jason Geria and Connor Pain have all been selected for the Doha qualifiers.

Brisbane Roar trio Brandon Borrello, James Donachie and Jamie Maclaren will be joined by Sydney FC pair Andrew Hoole and Alex Gerbasch, while Paul Izzo (Central Coast Mariners) and Stefan Mauk (Melbourne City) will also miss half of January to the Championship.

“We have put together an exciting squad that includes some players with Socceroos experience and also illustrates the strength of the Hyundai A-League and its position as a true pathway for national team footballers,” said coach Aurelio Vidmar said.

“The squad contains 12 players from our National Competition and the A-League clubs and coaches should be congratulated for the part they play in developing these players.

“We have taken the group through an important journey with qualifying, camps and friendly matches but this is a step up in class that they have to take in their development as international football players.

“We head to Qatar for a tough tournament but we have a good group of players that and we’re confident we can qualify for the Olympic Games, which is a great opportunity for the players.”

The Olyroos will head to Dubai for a seven day camp before the opening match in Group D against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 14 January at the Grand Hamad Stadium. The Olyroos also play Vietnam (17 January) and Jordan (20 January) with the top two teams progressing to the quarter finals.

The top three teams will qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Football Tournament.

Olyroos squad for the AFC U-23 Championship Doha 2016 in Qatar

AMINI Mustafa (Randers FC, Denmark)
ANTONIS Terry (PAOK, Greece)
BORRELLO Brandon (Brisbane Roar)
BRILLANTE Josh (Calcio Como, Italy)
BURGESS Cameron (Fulham FC, England)
DE SILVA Daniel (Roda JC Kerkrade, Holland)
DENG Thomas (Melbourne Victory FC)
DONACHIE James (Brisbane Roar)
DUNCAN Jack (Randers FC, Denmark)
EDWARDS Ryan (Partick Thistle, Scotland)
GALLIFUOCO Giancarlo (Melbourne Victory FC)
GALLOWAY Scott (Melbourne Victory)
GERIA Jason (Melbourne Victory)
GERSBACH Alex (Sydney FC)
HOOLE Andrew (Sydney FC)
IKONOMIDIS Christopher (SS Lazio, Italy)
IZZO Paul (Central Coast Mariners)
LENNOX Aaron (Kilmarnock FC, Scotland)
MACLAREN Jamie (Brisbane Roar)
MAUK Stefan (Melbourne City)
PAIN Connor (Melbourne Victory)
TAGGART Adam (Dundee United FC, Scotland)
UGARKOVIC Steven (Uncontracted)

Match Details

Australia v UAE

14 January 2016

Grand Hamad Stadium

7.30pm (3.30am 15 January AEDT)

Vietnam v Australia

17 January 2016

Grand Hamad Stadium

4.30pm (12.30am 18 January AEDT)

Jordan v Australia

20 January 2016

Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium

7.30pm (3.30am 15 January AEDT)

Possible quarter final – 23 January 2016

Possible semi final – 26 January 2016

Possible 3rd/4th playoff – 29 January 2016

Possible Final – 30 January 2016