Four named in Olyroos
Four Brisbane Roar players have been named in the Qantas Olyroos squad to tour Japan.
Brisbane Roar young guns Mitch Nichols, Matt Jurman, Andrew Redmayne and Rocky Visconte have been named in Qantas Olyroos Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar-s squad for next week-s friendly against the Japanese U23 side in Niigata.
The match is part of the Qantas Olyroos- final preparations before they face Yemen in the second round of the 2012 London Olympic Games Asian qualifiers, which will take place on the 19th and 23rd of June.
Alongside the Qantas Young Socceroos who departed today for a European training camp prior to their FIFA U20 World Cup campaign in late July, the Qantas Olyroos have been training extensively during the off-season in preparation for the crucial clashes.
Two week-long camps at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra as well as another week in Melbourne meant many of the young players had little time to relax once the season Hyundai A-League season ended.
But as Visconte explained, most of the boys were keen to keep their fitness looking towards the two-legged clash with Yemen.
“We-ve been training hard in the off-season to make sure we-re in the best possible condition for these games,” he said.
“As a player, it-s always your dream to represent your country and especially with the Olyroos, it-s a great stepping stone to one day make the Socceroos squad as well.
“Kenny [Brisbane Roar assistant coach Ken Stead] had schedules for us in the off-season to make sure we stayed fit.
“With the camps, we were doing one week on, one week off, but even in our weeks off we-d be training by ourselves so we were pretty busy.
“Not only will it benefit us, but for all the Roar boys involved, it-s going to benefit us going into next season too.”
Despite the friendly nature of the Japan game, Visconte said the Qantas Olyroos squad knew the importance of playing such a high profile side before the important qualifiers.
“The Japan game is really important, they-re a really good football team,” he said.
“It will show where we are at as a team, playing against one of the best sides in Asia”.
On a personal level, the 21-year-old was also looking to use the match to push his claims for a regular spot in the Qantas Olyroos line-up.
“Hopefully I can get a good amount of game time,” Visconte said.
“Every time I go on onto the training field or step out onto the pitch for a game, I always give my 100 per cent and this will be no different.
“I want to impress out there and hopefully cement a spot for the Yemen games and even looking ahead to the Olympics next year.”
The four Brisbane Roar players will depart Australia on Friday ahead of the June 1 fixture and will return to club pre-season training at the end of next week.
Following this international friendly match, the Qantas Olyroos will return to Australia to prepare for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games Asian Qualifiers where they will face Yemen on the 19th and 23rd June 2011 with the venues to be confirmed by the AFC shortly.
Upcoming Match Details Japan U23 National Team v Qantas Olyroos Wednesday 1 June 2011 Kick-Off: 4:20pm JST (5:20pm AEST) Tohoku Denryoku Bigswan Stadium, Niigata, Japan
Qantas Olyroos Squad List - Japan Tour 27 May - 3 June (Match 1st June)
Squad: Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart), Dean Bouzanis (gk) (uncontracted), Oliver Bozanic (Central Coast Mariners), Isaka Cernak (Melbourne Victory), Diogo Ferreira (Melbourne Victory), Matthew Foschini (Melbourne Victory), Jack Hingert (Dandenong Thunder (VPL), Jason Hoffman (Melbourne Heart), Marko Jesic (Newcastle Jets), Matthew Jurman (Brisbane Roar), Ryan McGowan (Hearts FC, Scotland), Golgol Mebrahtu (Gold Coast United), Tahj Minniecon (Gold Coast United), Scott Neville (Perth Glory), Mitch Nichols (Brisbane Roar), Mirjan Pavlovic (Wellington Phoenix), Andrew Redmayne (gk)(Brisbane Roar), Sebastian Ryall (Sydney FC), Rocco Visconte (Brisbane Roar).