Okon makes a fresh start for Spain tournament
After a disappointing Performance at the U20 World Cup in Turkey,Young Soccoroos Coach Paul Okon has made a host of changes ready for the COTIF tourament in Spain.
Just two players survive from the dismal performance in June, Goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis and central midfielder Hagi Gligor have made it though unscathed.
Villareal’s Rafael Jimenez and Lazio’s Christopher Ikonomidis have all been selected as well as QPR’s Peter Skapetis and Stoke City’s Peter Makillross,
They are the only four to have been selected who don’t play their football in the A -League, almost half of the squad is based in either Melbourne or Sydney, with Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory also well represented.
Speaking to Goal Australia Okon said: “This is the first stage of a new campaign with a new playing group,we had originally planned to have a training camp prior to the tournament to have a look at a larger group of overseas-based players to possibly have included in this squad, but due to a number of injuries he have had to postpone that camp until later in the year.
This (COTIF) Tournament is a very good one with four tough matches,This will be our first opportunity to develop our playing style and test ourselves against quality opposition.”
Australia’s opponents for the tournament will be Qatar, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Spain, with the first of those matches kicking off on the 12th of August.
Young Soccerroos squad in full
Anthony Bouzanis (Sydney FC), James Baldacchino (Western Sydney Wanderers), Nicholas Cowburn (Newcastle Jets), Christopher Cristaldo (Melbourne Victory), Matthew Davies (Perth Glory), Ben Garuccio (Melbourne Heart), Christopher Ikonomidis (Lazio), Rafa Jimenez (Villarreal), Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC), Awer Mabil (Adelaide United), Peter Makrillos (Stoke City), Stefan Mauk (Melbourne Heart), Jacob Melling (Adelaide United), Dylan Murnane (Melbourne Victory), Christopher Naumoff (Sydney FC), Peter Skapetis (Queens Park Rangers), Nicholas Olsen (Western Sydney Wanderers), Mitchell Oxborrow (Newcastle Jets), Luke Radonich (Melbourne Victory), Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory)