Young soccer players chance to impress - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Young soccer players chance to impress

26/02/2008 07:45:38 PM Comments (0)

Olyroos coach Graham Arnold is challenging his debutants to impress him on soccer's international stage ahead of this year's Beijing Olympics.

Australia's U/23 side is set to take on Mexico in a one-off international practice match this Sunday in San Francisco.

Seven uncapped players have been selected in the 20-man squad due to the unavailability of a number of domestic and overseas-based players.

Arnold says the practice match is a rare opportunity for young players to compete at a higher level.

"A lot of young players have shone in the last few months of the A-League and this will provide an excellent opportunity for them to show me what they can do at international level," said Arnold.

"Few overseas based players were available as it's not an international match date, but this will be a great chance for some new faces to test themselves against a different type of football."

Newcastle Jets trio James Holland, Tarek Elrich, and Jason Hoffman are set to make their debut for the team, alongside A-League grand final counterparts Matt Simon and Nigel Boogaard from the Central Coast Mariners.

Perth Glory striker Nikita Rukavytsya has been included after featuring in the squad for the home qualifier against Iraq last November.

Goalkeeping duo Tando Velaphi of Perth Glory, and debutant Justin Pasfield of NSW club Wollongong Wolves, are set to battle it out for the number one jersey.

The squad contains just two overseas based players in former Melbourne Victory defender Adrian Leijer of English Premier League club Fulham, and striker David Williams based at Danish-club Brondby.

Among the absentees are captain Mark Milligan who has a quadricep injury, and Newcastle Jets' grand final hero Mark Bridge who will miss the match with a hamstring injury.

Also missing are Danny Vukovic who has been stood down from national team duty pending an appeal for a suspension, Stuart Musialik, Tahj Minniecon and Michael Zullo.

AUSTRALIA: Nigel Boogaard (Central Coast Mariners), Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory), Nathan Burns (Adelaide United), Billy Celeski (Melbourne Victory), Robert Cornthwaite (Adelaide United), Adam DApuzzo (Newcastle Jets), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Tarek Elrich (Newcastle Jets), Troy Hearfield (Newcastle Jets), Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets), James Holland (Newcastle Jets), Adrian Leijer (Fulham, England), Justin Pasfield (Wollongong Wolves, NSW), Nikita Rukavytsya (Perth Glory), Sebastian Ryall (Melbourne Victory), Matt Simon (Central Coast Mariners), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Perth Glory), Tando Velaphi (Perth Glory), David Williams (Brondby, Denmark), Ruben Zadkovich (Sydney FC).

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