Garuccio and Mauk selected in Young Socceroos

Melbourne Heart FC's teenage duo of Benjamin Garuccio and Stefan Mauk have been selected in the Young Socceroos Squad.

Melbourne Heart FC's teenage duo of Benjamin Garuccio and Stefan Mauk have been selected in the Young Socceroos Squad for the upcoming AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers.

Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon has selected a 23-player squad for the tournament, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 3-7 October 2013.

Okon has selected 16 Australian-based players from the Hyundai A-League clubs and the Australian Institute of Sport and 7 overseas-based players from England, Italy and Spain.

With the benefit of a number of tournaments and training camps together, Okon is optimistic about his team-s prospects.

“This will be the first time that we will have overseas-based and Australian-based groups of players together for the tournament,” said Okon

“This is the first formal step in the qualification campaign for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and our goal for this tournament is to top the group.

“The conditions in Malaysia will be tough, with high heat and humidity expected.

“For this reason, we have chosen to arrive in Kuala Lumpur early to acclimatize and prepare ourselves for the tournament,” concluded Okon.

The Young Socceroos will depart Australia this Friday and will line-up against Hong Kong in their first match of the tournament on Thursday 3 October. The Young Socceroos will then face Chinese Taipei (Saturday 5 October) and Vietnam (Monday 7 October).

The Group winners of the nine groups (five from West Zone and four from the East Zone) along with the six best-placed sides and hosts Myanmar will qualify for the AFC U-19 Championship which will be held in October 2014.

The AFC U-19 Championship also serve as the qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 World Cup with the top-four sides of the 2014 edition booking a place each in the FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held in New Zealand in 2015.