Olyroos name strong squad for November friendlies as Asian Cup prep ramps up

WATCH: Olyroos forward Lachie Brook scores a stunner in the Isuzu UTE A-League

Olyroos head coach Tony Vidmar has named an extended 24-man squad for friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Qatar in November as preparations for next year’s AFC U23 Asian Cup ramp up.

A strong squad is headlined by European-based stars including Marco Tilio (Celtic), following his return from injury and Adrian Segecic (FC Dordrecht) who has been rewarded for his impressive start in the Netherlands, as well as Calem Nieuwenhof (Hearts), Nectar Triantis (Sunderland), Patrick Yazbek (Viking FK) and Mohamed Toure (Paris FC), fresh off a Socceroos debut.

Meanwhile, there is also a healthy contingent of Isuzu UTE A-League stars, led by the likes of Callum Talbot (Melbourne City FC), Lachlan Brook (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Noah Botic (Western United FC) and Ryan Teague (Melbourne Victory FC).

Goalkeepers Patrick Beach (Melbourne City) and Jack Warshawsky (Central Coast Mariners) have been selected as train-on players, with only one of the pair to be included in the official squad.

Calem Nieuewnhof has been calld up by the Olyroos.

The fixtures will take place on Friday, 17 November (Qatar) and Tuesday, 21 November (Saudi Arabia) and take place at the Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Stadium in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

“There’s been some really positive results in recent camps at the Maurice Rovello Tournament and in securing qualification for the U-23 Asian Cup,” Vidmar said.

“Those are important for the confidence and belief within this group, as we build towards a phase of competition that is significant within our program.

“We’ve spoken about what success at an Asian Cup and in turn, Olympic qualification looks like for the players individually and as a collective – there’s real excitement as 2024 approaches.

“We’ve secured games against teams who will provide a different challenge to those we’ve recently faced, in very similar conditions to what we’ll see in Doha next year – in terms of acclimatising the squad it ticks several boxes.

“There are four available matches to prepare ahead of our first Asian Cup group game, so every part of our preparation needs to be geared towards that, ensuring we can be at our best and effectively execute our plans on the pitch.”

The Olyroos boss added: “We’ve got some fantastic young players coming through, playing for clubs in Australia and across Europe.

“It’s important for us to ensure we have a squad that is familiar with our environment, as they may be called upon throughout our Asian Cup campaign or beyond – be it due to injuries or player availability. Having a wider group of players all on the same page is an important element to any success we collectively strive for.”

The Olyroos are one of 16 teams who have qualified for the AFC U23 Asian Cup  2024 in Qatar.

Should they finish in the top three they will automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics as the AFC representatives, while the fourth-best team will play an AFC-CAF play-off match for the final qualification spot. 

Full Squad

Raphael BORGES RODRIGUESFWMacarthur FCWestern Strikers SC (Football South Australia)
Noah BOTICFWWestern United FCHurstville ZFC (Football New South Wales)
Lachlan BROOKFWWestern Sydney Wanderers FCGawler Eagles FC (Football South Australia)
Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINSDFSydney FCNewmarket SFC (Football Queensland)
Louis D’ARRIGOMFLechia Gdansk (Poland)West Torrens Birkalla SC (Football South Australia)
Jacob FARRELLDFCentral Coast Mariners FCWyoming FC (Football New South Wales)
Steven HALL (Gk)GKAdelaide United FCPara Hills Knights SC (Football South Australia)
Jake HOLLMANMFMacarthur FCSeaforth FC (Football New South Wales)
Jacob ITALIANODFBorussia Monchengladbach II (Germany)Inglewood United FC (Football West)
Lucas MAURAGISDFNewcastle Jets FCMerimbula Grasshoppers FC (Football New South Wales)
Calem NIEUWENHOFMFHeart of Midlothian FC (Scotland)Curl Curl FC (Football New South Wales)
Adam PAVLESIC (Gk)GKSydney FCSydney United 58 FC (Football NSW)
Alexandar POPOVICDFAdelaide United FCAdelaide Comets FC (Football South Australia)
Adrian SEGECICMFFC Dordrecht (Netherlands)Lidcombe Waratah Junior SC (Football NSW)
Callum TALBOTDFMelbourne City FCGymea United FC (Football New South Wales)
Ryan TEAGUEMFMelbourne VictoryMaroubra United FC (Football New South Wales)
Marco TILIOMFCeltic FC (Scotland)APIA Leichhardt FC & Sydney Olympic FC (Football NSW)
Mohamed TOUREFWParis FC (France)Croydon Kings FC (Football South Australia)
Kai TREWINDFBrisbane Roar FCGungahlin United FC (Capital Football)
Nectarios TRIANTISDFSunderland AFC (England)Canterbury Junior FC (Football New South Wales)
Nishan  VELUPILLAYFWMelbourne Victory FCEndeavour United SC (Football Victoria)
Patrick YAZBEKMFViking FK (Norway)Austral Soccer Club (Football New South Wales)
Patrick BEACH (Gk)GKMelbourne City FCGlenmore Park FC (Football NSW)
Jack WARSHAWSKY (Gk)GKCentral Coast Mariners FCBuderim Wanderers FC (Football Queensland)