Strong squad for final Olympic Group D qualifier
Qantas Under 23s coach Rob Baan has selected a strong squad for the final Group D qualifying match against Jordan in Amman next week, which will decide whether Australia progresses to the next stage of qualifying later this year.
Qantas Under 23s coach Rob Baan has selected a strong squad for the final Group D qualifying match against Jordan in Amman next week with five overseas-based players selected, plus the return of suspended duo Adrian Leijer and Ruben Zadkovich.
Striker David Williams of Danish club Brondby is included after missing recent matches due to club commitments, and is joined by midfielder Neil Kilkenny (Birmingham City), Nick Ward (Queens Park Rangers), Trent McClenahan (Hereford United) and Aaron Downes (Chesterfield).
Both Leijer and Zadkovich return after missing last month-s 3-1 win over Iran, however suspended for this match are striker Mark Bridge and defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley, while Newcastle Jets midfielder Stuart Musialik will still be absent due to a hip injury.
“I have confidence in the ability of the squad of players we have assembled for this match and I-m happy to have back both Adrian Leijer and Ruben Zadkovich to bolster the defence,” said Qantas Under 23s coach Rob Baan.
The Qantas Under 23s require one point from the match to ensure progression to the third and final stage of qualifying which commences in August. Australia are three points ahead of Iran who host Saudi Arabia with the two matches being played simultaneously. Saudi Arabia on 12 points have already qualified while Jordan on two points are out of contention.
The third stage features 12 teams split into three groups and will be held from August 22 - November 21, with only the three group winners representing Asia at the Beijing Olympic Games.
The 19-man squad for the match against Jordan on June 6 is:
Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory), Nathan Burns (Adelaide United), Adam Casey (Sydney FC), Adam D'Apuzzo (Newcastle Jets), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Aaron Downes (Chesterfield, England), Troy Hearfield (Newcastle Jets), Neil Kilkenny (Birmingham City, England), Adrian Leijer (Melbourne Victory), Trent McClenahan (Hereford United, England), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC), Kristian Sarkies (Adelaide United), Tando Velaphi (Perth Glory), Dario Vidosic (Queensland Roar), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), Nick Ward (QPR, England), David Williams (Brondby, Denmark), Ruben Zadkovich (Sydney FC)
Fixtures:- Round 2 - Match Day 1 - (Away) Wednesday 28 February 2007 Iran v Australia 0-0 Tehran
Round 2 - Match Day 2 - (Home) Wednesday 14 March 2007 Australia v Jordan 1-1 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 3 - (Home) Wednesday 28 March 2007 Australia v Saudi Arabia 2-0 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 4 - (Away) Wednesday 18 April 2007 Saudi Arabia v Australia 2-1 Dammam City
Round 2 - Match Day 5 - (Home) Wednesday 16 May 2007 Australia v Iran 3-1 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Round 2 - Match Day 6 - (Away) Wednesday 6 June 2007 Jordan v Australia Amman
Click on the following link for more information on the Qantas Under 23s, including player profiles: http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/default.aspx?s=aus_mensu23s