Lopane named in Australian U23s set for Tajikistan


Wanderer Alessandro Lopane will travel to Tajikistan this week as Australia seeks to qualify for next year’s AFC U23 Asian Cup to be held in Uzbekistan.

The squad – currently in camp in Dubai ahead of their transit to Tajikistan – will play Indonesia in two matches in Dushanbe, with the winner over the two fixtures advancing to next year’s AFC U23 Asian Cup.

Originally Australia had been scheduled to play Indonesia, as well as China PR and Brunei Darussalam in Group G of Asian qualifying, however after the latter two nations withdrew from qualifying the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) reconfigured the Group B match schedule. Australia will now need to defeat Indonesia in a two-match series to advance to Uzbekistan 2022.

Football Australia’s National Technical Director and Joeys (U17s) Head Coach, Trevor Morgan, will coach the team, on an interim basis, in Tajikistan.

Morgan said the players that have arrived in Dubai ahead of Australia’s qualifiers in Tajikistan have entered camp with energy and enthusiasm, excited by the challenge ahead.

“It has been great to see how much it means to the players to come together,” Morgan said. “They love representing Australia and have not had the opportunity to for such a long time.”

“We have been delighted with the energy and enthusiasm that the players have shown since they’ve arrived in Dubai. While logistical and operational challenges around COVID prevented the group from arriving as one, the majority of the squad are now settled in camp and have been putting some fantastic work in on the training pitch.”

“The squad we’ve selected for next week’s qualifiers casts a real eye to the future, with the core of the squad age-eligible to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in three years’ time.

“The bulk of the players in the squad have already earned A-League Men’s match minutes, and we believe that each player’s time within the national team environment this month will serve to complement his development. This is something that shone through in the last U23s cycle under Graham Arnold, with players such as Harry Souttar, Denis Genreau, Riley McGree, and Connor Metcalfe combining club football and youth national team activity on their respective paths to their Socceroos debuts.

“We’re very thankful for the support of several overseas and A-Leagues clubs in sending their players to camp as early as possible. This has given the players vital extra time to build understanding, and highlights the club’s recognition of what wearing the Australian jersey means for Australian players,” he said.

In addition to the players confirmed to travel to Tajikistan, three young players have been invited to train with the group in Dubai. Thymos Caroutas (UE Cornella, Spain), Aydan Hammond (uncontracted), and Matthew Scarcella (Xanthi FC, Greece) will each spend valuable time in the national team environment in the United Arab Emirates as Football Australia seeks to identify more players for the future.

Australia is currently scheduled to play Indonesia in Dushanbe on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 and Saturday, 30 October 2021, with both matches kicking off at 5pm local time (11pm AEDT). Match coverage and/or streaming information, and other qualification tournament updates, will be advised through the official Socceroos social media handles in the lead up to each fixture.

Australia U23 Men’s National Team Squad – AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 Qualifiers (Group G) – Dushanbe, Tajikistan (Neutral Territory)

NameClub, CountryJunior Club (Member Federation)
Adisu BAYEWWestern United FC, AustraliaMelbourne Lions FC (Football Victoria)
Zaydan BELLOMelbourne Victory FC, AustraliaSporting Whittlesea (Football Victoria)
Jordan BOSMelbourne City FC, AustraliaHoppers Crossing SC (Football Victoria)
Noah BOTICWestern United FC, AustraliaHurstville ZFC (Football NSW)
Lachlan BROOKBrentford B, EnglandGawler Eagles FC (Football South Australia)
Kai CALEDERBANK-PARK (Gk)Connah’s Quay FC, WalesUnanderra Hearts FC (Football NSW)
Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINSRadkow Czestochowa, PolandBrisbane City FC (Football Queensland)
Luke DUZELWestern United FC, AustraliaMelbourne Knights FC (Football Victoria)
Taras GOMULKAMelbourne City FC, AustraliaModbury Vista SC (Football South Australia)
Jacob ITALIANOBorussia Monchengladbach II, GermanyInglewood United FC (Football West)
Alessandro LOPANEWestern Sydney Wanderers FC, AustraliaAPIA Leichhardt FC (Football NSW)
Lucas MAURAGISNewcastle Jets FC, AustraliaMerimbula Grasshoppers FC (Football NSW)
Lewis MILLERCentral Coast Mariners FC, AustraliaPittwater RSL FC (Football NSW)
Fabian MONGEXanthi FC, GreeceMount Pritchard (Football NSW)
Adam PAVLESIC (Gk)Sydney FC, AustraliaSydney United Juniors FC (Football NSW)
Luka PRSOWellington Phoenix FC, New ZealandCastle Hill United FC (Football NSW)
Nicholas SUMAN (Gk)Macarthur FC, AustraliaColo Cougars SFC (Football NSW)
Callum TALBOTSydney FC, AustraliaGymea United FC (Football NSW)
Marc TOKICHMjallby AIF, SwedenCanberra Croatia FC (Football NSW)
Patrick WOODSydney FC, AustraliaCollaroy Cromer Strikers FC (Football NSW)
Patrick YAZBEKSydney FC, AustraliaAustral Soccer Club (Football NSW)