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Published October 19, 2021 at 09:37:00

Young Sydney FC Stars Earn First Olyroos Call-Ups

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Four of Sydney FC’s young Academy graduates have been called into the Olyroos squad for the first time for two AFC Asian Cup Under 23’s qualifying matches in Tajikistan later this month.

Striker Pat Wood, midfielder Patrick Yazbek, fullback Callum Talbot and goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic all receive their first Olyroos call-ups.

The players are currently in Dubai for a training camp before heading to Dushanbe, the Tajikistan capital, for the qualifiers against Indonesia next week (October 27 & 30).

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19-year old product Wood joined the Sky Blues Academy aged 14 and burst onto the Isuzu Ute A-League scene with four goals last season.

This will be his first taste of international football.

“It is an honour to be called up,” he said.

“I haven’t been involved in any national teams before, so I’m pretty late on the scene and to be called up now is pretty awesome.

“Steve told me at training a few days ago, but the [Olyroos] manager called me and said congratulations and that made it all start to feel real.

“I’ve only had one overseas experience playing and that was in Qatar [AFC Champions League 2020] last year, so I’m very excited for this new experience.

“It will be great to understand a new culture and most importantly I hope I get to represent Australia. That will make it even more surreal.”

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Yazbek, who’s also 19, recently joined the Sky Blues Isuzu Ute A-League squad and has been a Sydney FC Academy player since 2017.

He is also set to experience competitive international football for the first time in his maiden Olyroos squad selection.

“I’ve been in national team training camps before but this is my first time to go abroad and represent my country in a qualifying game,” said the Sydney FC Academy graduate.

“It’s a great sense of accomplishment to represent your country at any level. 

“I’m excited but nervous at the same time and trying not to get too carried away and to stay focused.

“I’m looking forward to gaining exposure to international competition, to testing myself against some quality opponents and hopefully learning something to bring back to Sydney FC and the A-League.”

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At 19, Pavlesic is entering his sixth season with the club having joined the Sky Blues Academy as a 13 year old.

He has represented Australia at the Under 17’s World Cup and also made two appearances for Sydney FC in the AFC Champions League 2020.

However, this is his first call-up to the Olyroos.

“You are always proud because you always want to play for your country when the chance arises,” he said.

“If I do get the chance I want to give it 100% because it’s not every day you get to play for Australia and I will be giving it my all.”

Talbot, who’s 20, joined the Sydney FC Academy on day 1 in 2015 as a 14-year old.  He has progressed through the Sky Blues ranks to the Isuzu Ute A-League and has also been a member of Young Socceroos squads.

“I was surprised but excited at the same time,” he said.

“Getting back into the national team set up is great. We didn’t get the chance to be a part of the Young Socceroos over the last two years due to the Covid pandemic.”

Sydney FC Technical Director – Youth Kelly Cross said: “I’m delighted for these boys on their first call-ups for the Olyroos.

“All four have been with us for a long time now and have worked extremely hard to get to this position. They deserve this recognition.”

The players will take part in the camp, play the games and will return to Australia to complete 14 days quarantine.

They are expected to be released two days prior to Sydney FC’s Isuzu Ute A-League season opener against Western Sydney Wanderers.