Talented teens set for Turkey tour
Sydney: Joeys Head Coach Trevor Morgan on Thursday confirmed Australia’s squad for next month’s UEFA-hosted youth tournament in Turkey.
Twenty of Australia’s best youth footballers will travel to Antalya in March for matches against the host nation on March 4, Tanzania (March 6), and Guinea (March 8).
The friendly tournament will provide the Joeys with crucial matches and time together ahead of October’s 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.
Morgan’s squad includes 13 players aligned with A-League clubs, five players based in Europe, and two players hailing from clubs in the New South Wales National Premier Leagues.
“A key focus in the first half of 2019 is on searching for new talent to build depth in the Joeys. We need to have several options for each position, so competition is high for places at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup," said Morgan.
“This tournament in Turkey provides much needed experience in high level games against teams we don’t normally get to play, and the opportunity for new players to show what they can do at international level.
“We have been monitoring many players over the past few months, speaking with club Technical Directors, and watching players as much as possible on video and live at matches and training. My recent trip to Europe has been fruitful, and the 20 players selected will include five overseas based players. This is not the end though, we know there are more players out there that deserve an opportunity.
“I would like to thank the team at FFA who have been working towards establishing strong relationships with UEFA, which led to this opportunity,” he said.
A HUGE congrats to #CCMFC Academy shot stopper, Zenden Hart who has been selected in the Joeys squad for next month’s UEFA-hosted youth tournament in Turkey. 👏🏼 🇦🇺— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) February 14, 2019
The tournament will prepare the squad for October’s 2019 U-17 @FIFAWorldCup in Peru. pic.twitter.com/AXiI3akCaA
Australia is the only nation outside of UEFA and CAF to receive an invitation to the preparatory tournament in Turkey. The tournament will also feature teams from Morocco, Cameroon, Uganda, Montenegro, Senegal, Angola, Nigeria, and Belarus.
The 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held between October 5 and 27. FFA is currently exploring opportunities for the Joeys to participate in additional international tournaments on the path to Peru.
*Idrus Abdulahi (Melbourne City FC, Australia), Diego Alonso (Valencia CF, Spain), Zaydan Bello (Melbourne Victory, Australia), Noah Botic (Rockdale City Suns FC, Australia), Jordan Courtney-Perkins (Brisbane Roar FC, Australia), Luke Duzel (Melbourne City FC, Australia), Doni Grdic (HNK Sibenik, Croatia), Tristan Hammond (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Zenden Hart (Gk) (Central Coast Mariners, Australia), Birkan Kirdar (Melbourne Victory, Australia), Adam Pavlesic (Gk) (Sydney FC, Australia), Izaack Powell (Brisbane Roar FC, Australia), Michael Ruhs (Sydney United 58, Australia), Jack Simmons (Newcastle Jets, Australia), Ryan Teague (Sydney FC, Australia), Jayden Trenkoski (Sydney FC, Australia), Joshua Varga (Melbourne City FC, Australia), Daniel Walsh (Perth Glory FC, Australia), Riley Warland (Fulham FC, England), Caleb Watts (Southampton FC, England).
Source: Football Federation Australia