Heart duo selected in Young Socceroos squad

Melbourne Heart FC duo Ben Garuccio and Stefan Mauk have been selected in the Young Socceroos squad ahead of the COTIF U-19 International Football tournament in Spain.

Melbourne Heart FC duo Ben Garuccio and Stefan Mauk have been selected in the Young Socceroos squad ahead of the COTIF U-19 International Football tournament in Spain.

Garuccio, 18, played five matches for Melbourne Heart last season, including two starts, but missed a number of matches after sustaining an ankle injury.

Testament to his skill and motivation, Garuccio has recovered from his injury setback and has been rewarded with a call up to the Young Socceroos.

Mauk, 17, has progressed well in the off season after being elevated to a senior contract after a season with National Youth League side.

Garuccio and Mauk join Head Coach Paul Okon's 20-Player Squad for the upcoming COTIF U-19 tournament which will be held in L'Alcúdia, Spain from 12-21 August 2013.

Okon has selected 16 Australian-based and 4 players from overseas-based clubs.

Okon is looking forward to the start of the new FIFA U-20 World Cup qualification campaign.

“This is the first stage of a new campaign with a new playing group,” said Okon

“We had originally planned to have a training camp prior to the tournament to have a look at a larger group of overseas based players to possibly have included in this squad, but due to a number injuries he have had to postpone that camp until later in the year.

“This (COTIF) Tournament is a very good one with four tough matches which include Spain and Mexico.

“This will be our first opportunity to develop our playing style and test ourselves against quality opposition,” concluded Okon

This is the 30th edition of the COTIF Tournament and will involve ten U-19 Men-s National teams from Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Spain.

All matches will be played at the Estadio Municipal Els Arcs De L'Alcúdia.

This will be the first competitive outing for this group of players who are looking to eventually qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup which will be held in New Zealand. The first stage of this qualification process is the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers which will be held in Hong Kong from 3 to 11 October 2013.