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Morgan names Joeys squad for England tour

Sydney: Australia head coach Trevor Morgan named 23 players on Monday for upcoming friendlies in September as preparations for their FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 campaign.

The Joeys - who have been drawn in Group B for the World Cup in Brazil alongside Ecuador, Hungary, and Nigeria - will play U-17 selections from hosts England, Korea Republic, and Brazil in the United Kingdom from September 6-10.

The friendlies will represent crucial, high-level game time for the group who have recently completed two training camps in Canberra before they compete at this year’s tournament, which will take place from October 26 to November 17.

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Morgan’s squad consists of 17 players currently aligned with A-League clubs, two players contracted to Sydney United 58 in the New South Wales National Premier Leagues (NPL), and four players who are currently plying their trade abroad.

The Joeys’ overseas-based contingent features Diego Alonso from Albacete Balompie in Spain, Tristan Hammond from Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, Caleb Watts from Southampton FC in England, and attacker Noah Botic (pictured below) who recently joined Hoffenheim in Germany’s Bundesliga from Rockdale City Suns FC in the NSW NPL.

“I am delighted that we have the opportunity to travel to England to play three important fixtures ahead of this year’s U-17 World Cup,” said Morgan.

“We will commence the camp with five days of training at St George’s Park before shifting into match mode for our fixtures against England, Korea Republic, and Brazil."

Australia qualified for this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup last September when the team reached the semi-finals of the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship held in Malaysia.

The Joeys will be one of Asia’s four representatives at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019, with Japan, Korea Republic and Tajikistan also participating in the prestigious youth football tournament.

Australia’s first FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 match will take place on October 26 against Ecuador at the Estadio Olimpico in Goiania. Morgan’s men will take on Hungary in the same city and stadium three days later, before shifting base to Brasilia (Gama) for the third and final group game against Nigeria at the Estadio Bezerrao on November 1.

The top two teams from each group, plus the four best third-placed teams, will advance to the Round of 16.

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