Melbourne City FC’s emerging young talent will make up a third of the Young Socceroos squad at the upcoming AFC U19 Championship 2018 Group J Qualification Matches in Vietnam.
City teenagers James Delianov, Ramy Najjarine, Dylan Pierias, Denis Genreau, Joshua Cavallo (pictured L-R) and Daniel Arzani, John Roberts and Nathaniel Atkinson have been called into Ufuk Talay’s 22-player squad for the three qualifying matches in November.
The selections indicate the strength of City's youth system, which has not only produced a number of first-team players over the past four years, but has won the Foxtel Y-League twice in the past three seasons (2015, 2017) and the local NPL and NPL u20s competitions on regular occasion.
Arzani, Genreau and Pierias - the latter becoming the first player in A-League history born after the year 2000 to play senior football - all made their debuts for City's first team in the 2016/17 campaign.
The players will be involved in the Championship qualifiers against Northern Mariana Islands, Hong Kong and DPR Korea. Australia needs to top Group J in Vietnam, or be one of the five best runners-up from the ten groups, to advance to next year’s AFC U19 Championship Finals which will be held in Indonesia.
The Young Socceroos squad will head to Hanoi on Wednesday 1 November 2017 and play Northern Mariana Islands in their first match on Saturday 4 November 2017. The team will play its second game against Hong Kong two days later, before completing the qualification process against DPR Korea on Wednesday 8 November 2017.
All of Australia’s matches will be played at Vietnam’s National Youth Football Training Centre. All players in the squad are currently based in Australia, with 21 of the 23 players aligned to A-League Clubs.