Sydney FC’s Terry Antonis has earned an Olyroos call up following his impressive form for the Sky Blues throughout the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season.
The road to the 2016 Olympic Games will officially start this month with the Australian U-23 Men’s Football Team (Olyroos) Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar today naming a 23-man squad for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship Qualifiers – Group F which will be played in Chinese Taipei.
Vidmar has named 11 players from the Hyundai A-League and 12 from overseas clubs for matches in Group F of AFC Qualifying against Hong Kong (27 March), Chinese Taipei (29 March) and Myanmar (31 March) in Kaohsiung City.
The squad includes 2014 FIFA World Cup striker Adam Taggart, 2015 AFC Asian Cup winner Terry Antonis, Liverpool FC’s Brad Smith and Empoli midfielder Josh Brillante as Vidmar looks to continue the resurgence of Australian Football.
“It’s exciting to start the qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games and we’ve put together a squad that has some good international experience and showing good form at club level, both in Australia and throughout Europe,” Vidmar said.
“The bulk of the squad played in the friendlies late last year when we defeated Korea Republic and drew with Brazil and we have been able to add some experienced firepower in Terry Antonis, Josh Brillante, Adam Taggart, Brad Smith, and Daniel De Silva to that group.”
Vidmar will look to create the same environment and football structures, which propelled the Socceroos to victory in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup as part of the integration of the Australian National Teams structure.
“An important part of the changes that have been driven by Ange (Postecoglou) include aligning the structures of all the National teams to enable players to make a smooth transition through the age groups,” Vidmar said.
“The players will operate under the same conditions and structures as the Socceroos so they understand what is required to play international football, which will help in our endeavours to qualify for the Olympic Games but also assist with their development as footballers.”
The AFC U-23 Championship, which will be played in Qatar in 2016, also doubles as the qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games. The top three (3) ranked teams from the AFC U-23 Championship qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games Football Tournament.
To progress to the AFC U-23 Championship, the Olyroos need to finish top of Group F in Chinese Taipei or be one of the best five second place teams.
Olyroos squad for AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers – Group F
Mustafa AMINI – Borussia Dortmund, Germany
Terry ANTONIS – Sydney FC, Australia
Josh BRILLANTE – Empoli, Italy
Corey BROWN – Brisbane Roar, Australia
Cameron BURGESS – Ross County, Scotland
Daniel DE SILVA – Perth Glory, Australia
James DONACHIE – Brisbane Roar, Australia
Jack DUNCAN (gk) – Perth Glory, Australia
Ryan EDWARDS – Reading FC, England
Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO – Swansea FC, England
Scott GALLOWAY – Melbourne Victory, Australia
Jason GERIA – Melbourne Victory, Australia
John HALL (gk) – Adelaide United, Australia
Andrew HOOLE – Newcastle Jets, Australia
Jackson IRVINE – Ross County, Scotland
Aaron LENNOX (gk) – Queens Park Rangers, England
Jamie MACLAREN – Perth Glory, Australia
Connor PAIN – Melbourne Victory, Australia
Brad SMITH – Liverpool, England
Adam TAGGART – Fulham FC, England
Steven UGARKOVIC – NK Osijek, Croatia
Ryan WILLIAMS – Fulham FC, England
Kwame YEBOAH – Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany
Sydney FC’s next home game is against Melbourne City on Friday 20th March at Allianz Stadium (kick off 7.40pm). Purchase tickets today or become a Member and ensure you don’t miss a moment of Hyundai A-League action by heading to www.ticketek.com.au/sydneyfc