Roar pair to play in AFC U-19 Championships

Brisbane Roar pair Corey Brown and Jason Geria have been rewarded for their performances for the Qantas Young Socceroos with spots in Head Coach Paul Okon’s 23-player squad for the upcoming AFC U-19 Championships.

Brisbane Roar pair Corey Brown and Jason Geria have been rewarded for their performances for the Qantas Young Socceroos with spots in Head Coach Paul Okon-s 23-player squad for the upcoming AFC U-19 Championships.

The tournament will be held in the United Arab Emirates between 1 - 17 November 2012 and Australia has been drawn against Qatar, Syria and Saudi Arabia in Group D.

The finalists and semi-finalists will automatically qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in Turkey in June/July 2013.

The two Roar defenders have formed a key part of the playing group throughout their preparations over the past five months, including a recent trip to Portugal to face their national U-20 side, and Okon was pleased with the final make-up of his squad.

“We had a thorough process in selecting this squad with everyone having an opportunity to show themselves through training and match situations,” said Okon.

“There is a good mix of local and overseas-based players, and there were plenty of tough decisions that had to be made when settling on the final group.

“Our preparation for this tournament has been great with plenty of match practice.

“In particular, to be able to use the majority of these players at the AFC U-22 qualifiers in Indonesia in July gave us good competitive matches under tournament conditions which will serve us well once we get to the UAE.

“Whilst we know it will be a difficult challenge, I am confident that we have a strong-enough squad to progress from the group stage to the quarter-finals which will then come down to that one important game for us to perform in to qualify for the World Cup.”

The Qantas Young Socceroos will assemble in the UAE this weekend and will finalise their preparations for the tournament with an international friendly against the Korea Republic on Tuesday.

Australia will open their campaign against Qatar on Sunday 4 November (kick-off 9pm AEST) before Syria on Tuesday 6 November (kick-off 1am AEST) and Saudi Arabia on Thursday 8 November (kick-off 11pm AEDT).

The top two teams from each group of the AFC U-19 Championship 2012 will progress to the knockout stage (quarter-finals) and the four winners of the quarter-finals will then play in the semi-finals with the winners advancing to the final.

Qantas Young Socceroos squad: Terry ANTONIS (Sydney FC, Australia), Mustafa AMINI (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Joshua BRILLANTE (Newcastle Jets, Australia), Corey BROWN (Brisbane Roar, Australia), Reece CAIRA (Western Sydney Wanderers, Australia), Connor CHAPMAN (Newcastle Jets, Australia), Travis COOPER (VVV Venlo, the Netherlands), Jack DUNCAN (Newcastle Jets, Australia), Ryan EDWARDS (Reading FC, England), Corey GAMEIRO (FC Eindhoven, the Netherlands), Ben GARUCCIO (Melbourne Heart, Australia), Jason GERIA (Brisbane Roar, Australia), Curtis GOOD (Newcastle United, England), Jackson IRVINE (Celtic FC, Scotland), Paul IZZO (Adelaide United, Australia), Liam JACOB (Oldham Athletic, England), Tom KING (Bristol City FC, England), Jamie MACLAREN (Blackburn Rovers, England), Hayden MORTON (Central Coast Mariners, Australia), Mitchell OXBORROW (Newcastle Jets, Australia), Adam TAGGART (Newcastle Jets, Australia), David VRANKOVIC (Melbourne Heart, Australia), Ryan WILLIAMS (Fulham FC, England)