Brisbane duo in Young Socceroos
Brisbane Roar duo Kofi Danning and Matt Acton will be shooting for World Cup glory after being selected in Jan Versleijen’s 21-man squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
Brisbane Roar duo Kofi Danning and Matt Acton will be shooting for World Cup glory after being selected in Jan Versleijen-s 21-man squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
The Qantas Young Socceroos will face a stern test in their group Ecuador, Costa Rica and Spain in an effort to qualify for the Round of 16 knock-out stage.
Brisbane new boy Danning said he was relishing in the opportunity to represent his country.
“I want to make the green and gold proud and do the best I can to contribute,” Danning said.
“We have a very strong side and all the boys have the right attitude, we all know if we put in 100 per cent and work our hardest, something will come out of it.
“I think our first goal is to try and get out of the group stage.
“If we do that, everything else will come together because that-s the hardest challenge for any team because every team is hungry to go through.
“I-m going there to prove to everyone and to show everyone what I can do and play well with the team. If I can contribute what I think I can, we can make it further in the competition.”
With a squad drawn mainly from the Hyundai A-League, Versleijen said he was confident of a strong showing from his young charges.
“I am very happy with the final selection and it is good to have the majority of the squad back together that did so well at the AFC Championships last year,” said Versleijen.
“It is also good to see that since last October the majority of the players have progressed to the starting line-ups of their respective Hyundai A-League or overseas based clubs.
“It is very exciting that the tournament is so close and we will use our training camp in Denver, where we will play two friendly matches against quality opposition, to finalise our preparations.
The Qantas Young Socceroos will hold a farewell function in Sydney at the end of the week before travelling to the USA on Saturday for a pre-tournament camp in Denver, Colorado where they will play friendly matches against fellow World Cup finalists the Korea Republic (20 July) and England (22 July).
The Qantas Young Socceroos will then move to their base camp in the Colombian city of Manizales, situated 2,180m above sea-level, where they will be based the first phase of the tournament.
The Qantas Young Socceroos will play their first match of the tournament against Ecuador on Sunday 31 July, and then face Costa Rica on Wednesday 3 August before their final group match against Spain on Saturday 6 August.
The top two teams from each of the groups and the four third placed teams with the highest number of points will then progress to the round of 16 (9 & 10 August).
The Quarter-Finals will be played on 13 & 14 August, Semi-Finals on 17 August with the Final and 3rd/4th place play-off on Saturday 20 August.
The Qantas Young Socceroos qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup having made the final of the AFC U19 Youth Championships in Zibo, China last year.
The Qantas Young Socceroos matches and the Semi-Finals and Final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 will be broadcast live on SBS TV.
Qantas Young Socceroos Squad for FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011
Matthew ACTON (gk) (Brisbane Roar), Mustafa AMINI (Central Coast Mariners), Terry ANTONIS (Sydney FC), Jake BARKER-DAISH (Gold Coast United), Mark BIRIGHTTI (gk) (Adelaide United), Kerem BULUT (MLada Boleslav, Czech Republic), Kofi DANNING (Brisbane Roar) , Matthew FLETCHER (uncontracted), Petar FRANJIC (Melbourne Victory), Sam GALLAGHER (Central Coast Mariners), Rhyan GRANT (Sydney FC), Brendan HAMILL (Melbourne Heart), Bernie IBINI-ISEI (Central Coast Mariners), Ben KANTAROVSKI (Newcastle Jets), Mathew LECKIE (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany), Dylan McGOWAN (Gold Coast United), Tommy OAR (FC Utrecht, Netherlands), Dimitrios PETRATOS (Sydney FC), Trent SAINSBURY (Central Coast Mariners), Lawrence THOMAS (gk) (uncontracted), Marc WARREN (Sheffield United, UK)