Vidmar names strong Olyroos squad

Aurelio Vidmar has named a strong Olyroos squad to take on Turkey and FYR Macedonia next month as part of preparations for January’s Olympic Games qualifiers in Doha.

The Aussies and the Turkish U21 national team will play for the Friendship Cup which coincides with the Centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.

Vidmar’s 23-man squad contains 10 A-League players who will be just a month out from the start of the 2015/16 domestic season.

Another six players have been included from recent Socceroos squads – Josh Brillante, Terry Antonis, Daniel de Silva, Chris Ikonomidis, Adam Taggart and Brad Smith.

Only recently, FourFourTwo reported on the frustration of Milos Degenek who had fallen off the national team radar. The 1860 Munich defender/midfielder has been named in the squad and will get his chance to impress.

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Vidmar said he will use the two matches to test his players ahead of the upcoming AFC U23 Championship.  

“These two matches against quality strong opposition are an important part of our preparations leading into next January,” Vidmar said.

“It will be a difficult challenge for us with the players in the squad at various stages of preparation ranging from being in season, in pre-season or in some cases uncontracted, but we are confident that these issues will be resolved by October.

“There are a number of new faces included as well and this will be their chance to see if they can fit into the playing group.

“There are only a limited number of opportunities left for the players to claim a place in the final squad before we head to Doha in January and these matches will be a critical part of that process."

The Olyroos take on Turkey in Istanbul on September 4 and FYR Macedonia in Skopje on September 7.

While in Turkey, the Olyroos will also hold a special training session for disadvantaged local children as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, year-long cultural festival ‘Australia in Turkey 2015’, with cultural events and performances taking place throughout September.

The Olyroos will learn of their group opponents for the AFC U23 Championship when the draw is held on 12 September in Doha.

Olyroos Squad for Turkey and FYR Macedonia matches 4-7 September 2015

Jack DUNCAN (Randers FC, Denmark), Jason GERIA (Melbourne Victory FC), Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO (Swansea FC, England), James DONACHIE (Brisbane Roar FC) Milos DEGENEK (1860 Munich, Germany), Joshua BRILLANTE (Empoli, Italy), Andrew HOOLE (Sydney FC), Ryan EDWARDS (Uncontracted), Jamie MACLAREN (Brisbane Roar FC), Mustafa AMINI (Randers FC, Denmark), Connor PAIN (Melbourne Victory FC) John HALL (Adelaide United FC), Brandon BORRELLO (Brisbane Roar FC), Terry ANTONIS (PAOK FC, Greece), Scott GALLOWAY (Melbourne Victory FC), Steven UGARKOVIC (NK Osijek, Croatia), Daniel DE SILVA (Roda JC Kerkrade, Netherlands), Paul IZZO (Central Coast Mariners FC), Cameron BURGESS (Fulham FC, England), Riley WOODCOCK (Sydney FC), Chris IKONOMIDIS (SS Lazio, Italy), Adam TAGGART (Fulham FC, England), Brad SMITH (Uncontracted).

MATCH DETAILS

Turkey U21 v Australia U22

September 4, 2015

Kasimpasa Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium, stanbul, Turkey

Kick-Off: 8.30pm (local) (3:30am AEST, 5 Sept)

Macedonia U21 v Australia U22

September 7, 2015

FF Macedonia Training Centre – Skopje, FYR Macedonia

Kick-Off: TBC (local)