Behich, Dugandzic and Hoffman Named For 23's

Australian Under 23’s Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar has selected three Melbourne Heart FC players in his 20-man squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games against Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.

Australian Under 23-s Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar has selected three Melbourne Heart FC players in his 20-man squad for the upcoming AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games against Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The trio of Aziz Behich, Mate Dugandzic and Jason Hoffman will fly the flag for the Red and White, and will depart for training camp in Dubai following Heart-s Hyundai A-League fixture against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

Football Federation Australia has advised teenagers Eli Babalj, BJ Hamill and Curtis Good are also on standby for the crucial matches.

Behich, Dugandzic and Hoffman have been ever-present members of the Australian Under 23 set-up over the last six months, with their performances in Green and Gold and the Hyundai A-League ensuring they retained their place in Vidmar-s squad.

With Heart contributing the equal-most players of any Hyundai A-League club, Melbourne Heart FC Chief Executive Officer, Scott Munn said Vidmar-s selection vindicated the Club-s commitment to promoting youth.

“From day one of our existence, the Club has sought to make a genuine investment in the development and growth of the next generation of Australia-s football talent,” he said.

“With our coaching department headed by former Ajax and Jong Ajax Head Coach John van ‘t Schip, and boasting over 100 cumulative international caps, we have provided a platform for our players to gain access to an elite level of expertise.

“The Club is proud to have Aziz, Mate and Jason selected for international duty, and look forward to seeing them play their part as the Australian Under 23s seek to qualify for a seventh consecutive Olympic Games Football Tournament.”

Behich, Dugandzic and Hoffman will miss Hyundai A-League fixtures against Melbourne Victory (February 4th), Newcastle Jets (February 11th) and Gold Coast United (February 17th).