Najjarine named in squad for Australia’s U23 Asian Cup Quest

Ramy Najjarine has been named in Australia’s squad for next month’s AFC U23 Asian Cup.

The green and gold have been drawn in Group B of the tournament alongside Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan, and will play its group matches in the cities of Qarshi (two matches) and Tashkent (one match) between June 1 and 7.

Each of Australia’s matches at the AFC U23 Asian Cup will be broadcast exclusively live in Australia on Paramount+, with the first cohort of players in the squad assembling in Uzbekistan from Monday, 23 May 2022 for a pre-tournament training camp. 

Any players with A-League Finals – or potentially A-Leagues All Stars – commitments will travel to Uzbekistan following the completion of their respective domestic campaigns. 

One additional player will be added to Australia’s squad prior to the commencement of the tournament.  

Trevor Morgan, who will coach Australia’s U23s at the upcoming AFC U23 Asian Cup with the assistance of former Socceroos attacker Richard Garcia, said he’s excited by the pool of players that will represent the nation in Central Asia. 

“We have assembled a strong squad of young Australian talent to compete at the upcoming AFC U23 Asian Cup, with one additional player to be added in the coming days,” Morgan said. “The players in the squad are making an impact in senior football, and with many age-eligible for Paris 2024 this tournament will provide an important moment in their development. While some players won’t be eligible for the next Olympic cycle, the opportunity for them to go to a high-level international competition will assist them in their careers, and help to create further depth for the Socceroos.”

“In recent youth national team camps we have placed a strong emphasis on having former Socceroos, such as Paul Okon, Craig Moore, Mark Milligan, and Luke Wilkshire involved, so I am delighted that Richard Garcia has accepted our invitation to travel with us for this tournament as an Assistant Coach. Richard represented Australia at U23 level, played 17 internationals for Australia including at the FIFA World Cup in 2010, and enjoyed a fantastic club career, so the advice and experiences he will be able to impart on the players will be crucial.”

Australia finished third at the last AFC U23 Asian Cup, then known as the AFC U23 Championship, in Bangkok, Thailand in January 2020 to secure qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Football Tournament. Since competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, multiple young Australian players have secured club moves abroad, and/or progressed into the senior Socceroos’ set-up, illustrating the importance of Australia’s U23 program. 

The upcoming AFC U23 Asian Cup does not serve as part of the process for qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Men’s football qualifying for Paris 2024 is set to commence in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) next year.

Football Australia announced last week that former Socceroo Tony Vidmar will take charge of Australia’s U23 men’s program at the completion of the Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 campaign.

Australia U23 Squad (one player to be added) | AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022

NameClub, CountryJunior Club 
(Member Federation)
Hosine BILITYFram Reykjavik, IcelandCroydon Kings FC (Football South Australia)
Nicholas BILOKAPIC (Gk)Hartlepool United, EnglandSydney United 58 FC (Football NSW)
Jordan BOSMelbourne City FC, AustraliaHoppers Crossing SC (Football Victoria)
Lachlan BROOKAdelaide United FC, AustraliaGawler Eagles FC (Football South Australia)
Jacob CHAPMAN (Gk)Huddersfield Town AFC, EnglandEpping Eastwood Tigers FC (Football NSW)
Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINSRakow Czestochowa, PolandNewmarket SFC (Football Queensland)
Louis D’ARRIGOAdelaide United FC, AustraliaWest Torrens Birkalla SC (Football South Australia)
Jacob FARRELLCentral Coast Mariners FC, AustraliaWyoming FC (Football NSW)
Tyrese FRANCOISFulham FC, EnglandCampbelltown Uniting Church SC (Football NSW)
Joe GAUCI (Gk)Adelaide United FC, AustraliaCumberland United FC (Football South Australia)
Tristan HAMMONDFK Austria Wien II, AustriaFairfield Hotspurs SC (Football NSW)
Alou KUOLSV Sandhausen, GermanyShepparton SC (Football Victoria)
Lewis MILLERCentral Coast Mariners FC, AustraliaPittwater RSL FC (Football NSW)
Ramy NAJJARINEWestern Sydney Wanderers FC, AustraliaMounties Wanderers FC (Football NSW)
Joshua NISBETCentral Coast Mariners FC, AustraliaSt Marys FC (Football NSW)
Bernardo OLIVEIRAAdelaide United FC, AustraliaPort Adelaide Pirates SC (Football SA)
Cameron PEUPIONBrighton Hove & Albion FC, EnglandWakehurst FC (Football NSW)
Joshua RAWLINSPerth Glory FC, AustraliaDianella SC (Football West)
Jay RICH-BAGHUELOUAccrington Stanley FC, EnglandPalm Beach SC (Football Queensland)
Kai TREWINBrisbane Roar FC, AustraliaGungahlin United FC (Capital Football)
Patrick WOODSydney FC, AustraliaCollaroy Cromer Strikers FC (Football NSW)
Patrick YAZBEKSydney FC, AustraliaAustral Soccer Club (Football NSW)