Heart Duo Earn Qantas Young Socceroo Selection

Melbourne Heart FC’s Eli Babalj and Brendan Hamill have been rewarded for their early season performances with selection to the Qantas Young Socceroos.

Melbourne Heart FC-s Eli Babalj and Brendan Hamill have been rewarded for their early season performances with selection to the Qantas Young Socceroos.

The duo will enter camp in Sydney today to commence preparations for the Asian Football Confederation U-19 Championships in China, which commences during the first week of October.

Despite only recently turning 18, Hamill has transitioned seamlessly to life at the elite level, featuring in each of Heart-s seven Hyundai A-League matches, making four starting appearances.

Babalj meanwhile has shown great energy and enthusiasm in his seven appearances off the bench, scoring during Heart-s 2-3 loss to Adelaide United to reinforce his talent.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip is proud of the pair-s achievement.

“One of our goals as a Club is to produce players for Australia-s national team, so to have played a role in Eli and Brendan making the Young Socceroos squad is fantastic,” he said.

“Both Eli and Brendan have shown great promise in the opportunities they-ve seen given to them in the Hyundai A-League, so it-s a great credit to their efforts.”

Hamill-s participation though hinges on his recovery from an injury sustained during Melbourne Heart FC-s 2-1 win over the Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park.

The defender was substituted in the 18th minute of Sunday-s match after receiving a knock while lunging for a tackle, prematurely ending his participation in the contest.

He will now be assessed by Football Federation Australia-s medical staff, who will determine whether the former AIS player is fit to take his place on the plane to China.