Brisbane Roar midfielder Aiden O’Neill says he’s honoured to have been called up for the Olyroos upcoming friendlies against New Zealand.
O'Neill, as well as Roar teammate Connor O'Toole, have been selected in Gary van Egmond's 24-man squad for Australia U-23’s upcoming two-match series against New Zealand U-23 in Wollongong and Campbelltown.
The matches, to be played at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Friday, 6 September and in Campbelltown on Monday, 9 September will serve as vital preparation ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games qualification tournament in January.
The Australian U23 squad will travel to Thailand in January to compete in the 2020 AFC U23 Championship where the top three teams will earn the right to join host nation Japan as Asia’s representatives at Tokyo 2020.
O’Neill, who has three Olyroos caps to his name and scored for the side in a 6-0 victory over Cambodia in March, says he can't wait to head into camp.
“When Australia comes calling, it’s a privilege to play for your country. There’s nothing better than putting on the Australian jersey and representing your country and your family proudly.”
“I’m just excited to be getting back in with the boys and working towards our goal which is qualifying for the Olympics.
“I’ve actually got a lot of family in Sydney as well so they’ll be coming along to watch the game and it’s a good opportunity for people to come out and watch the Australian U23s.”
The 21-year-old made his BRFC debut off the bench in last week’s FFA Cup Round of 16 clash against Central Coast Mariners at Dolphin Stadium - a great occasion for the Brisbane-born midfielder.
“It’s good, new group, new philosophy, a different way of playing and everyone’s enjoying football, when you’re enjoying your football, you play at your best.”
“It’s a long pre-season and you just need to keep working hard so everyone’s ready to go when the season begins,” O’Neill said.
The pair are also joined on international duty by the Club's two youngest ever players in Izaack Powell & Jordan Courtney-Perkins who both jetted off to England over the weekend as part of the Joeys preparations for October's FIFA U17 World Cup.