After the pandemic prevented him the opportunity to play at the U-17 World Cup, Adrian Segecic is determined to help Australia qualify for this year’s showcase U-20 tournament.
Segicic, alongside a handful of his teammates currently in Uzbekistan for the AFC U20 Asian Cup 2023, was unfortunately denied the opportunity to qualify for the 2021 tournament due to COVID-19.
But two years later, a top-four finish would see Segecic and the Subway Young Socceroos book their place at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“Obviously, it’s massive for all of us boys that we didn’t get the chance to play in the U-17 World Cup,” Segecic said.
“So now to be able to try and qualify for the U-20 World Cup is another big chance for us and for all the boys that didn’t get the opportunity to go.”
The Sydney FC forward sees his past experience in the green and gold as a strong asset heading into the Asian Cup.
With the core of the squad first playing together at U-17’s level, they reassembled post-pandemic in Spain for the Four Nations Cup, before heading to Kuwait for a successful Asian Cup qualification campaign.
“So there’s still a lot of us that have stayed together for a while now, which has helped a lot,” Segecic shared.
“Now that we’ve been playing together for a few years, it’s helped us gel on the field and know how each other plays.”
Segecic emphasised team spirit amongst the squad, who are relishing the opportunity to come together with a clear goal in mind.
As is the beauty of a national team set-up, all club rivalries rapidly dissolve while the squad are gathered in camp.
“All of us are pretty close mates, but we play against each other, we don’t like to lose,” Segecic said.
“So we give it to each other when we play against each other but when we come together, you know, we’re best mates and we forget about all that and focus just on the team.
The boys and the staff have been really excellent, and I think everyone gets on really well, which helps a lot on the field.
“Obviously now that we’ve been in camp a few times together and the similar players as well, I think the bonds got a lot better, which is obviously showing them the pitch as well.
“It’s good to get all the boys back in and get ready for this tournament now.”
All of the Subway Young Socceroos’ AFC U20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023™ matches will be streamed live and free on 10 Play.
|3.00pm local, 1 March / 9.00pm AEDT, 1 March||Australia vs Vietnam||Istiqlol Stadium, Fergana, Uzbekistan|
|3.00pm local, 4 March / 9.00pm AEDT, 4 March||Australia vs Iran||Istiqlol Stadium, Fergana, Uzbekistan|
|3.00pm local, 7 March / 9.00pm AEDT, 7 March||Australia vs Qatar||JAR Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan|