Heart Quartet Selected For Young Socceroos

Melbourne Heart FC’s teenage quartet of Kliment Taseski, Eli Babalj, Kamal Ibrahim and Brendan Hamill have each earned selection to the Young Socceroos for the upcoming AFF U/19 Youth Championship in Vietnam.

Melbourne Heart FC-s teenage quartet of Kliment Taseski, Eli Babalj, Kamal Ibrahim and Brendan Hamill have each earned selection to the Young Socceroos for the upcoming AFF U/19 Youth Championship in Vietnam.

Starting on July 24, the competition will see the Heart teenagers battle it out against the leading youngsters from Vietnam, Korea Republic and reigning champions Thailand, who defeated Australia in a penalty shootout during the 2009 edition of the tournament.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip believes the selection of four Heart players in the 20-man squad, the most from any one side, provides an affirmation of the Club-s youth policy.

“The Club is delighted with the selection of Kliment, Brendan, Eli and Kamal to the Young Socceroo squad for the upcoming tournament in Vietnam,” he said.

“Developing the next generation of Australian footballers and providing a pathway to the world-s top leagues is an important aspect of the Melbourne Heart FC philosophy.”

Van ‘t Schip added: “While the Club is focused on the now, we also must respect that we have a responsibility to look at the future and promote players who will one day be capable of representing the Socceroos.

“Having players earn selection for the Young Socceroos is an important step in achieving that goal and is proof that we have a core of younger players who are displaying a lot of potential.”

Taseski (19), Babalj (18), Hamill (17) and Ibrahim (17) have each represented the Young Socceroos on numerous occasions, featuring in qualification for the AFC U-19 Championship as well as the train-on squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt last year.

Despite their youth, the quartet have been regular fixtures in the Heart squad during its Hyundai A-League pre-season campaign, with Hamill, Ibrahim and Taseski named in the starting line-up for the Club-s recent clash against the Newcastle Jets in Morwell, while each of the quartet featured in the pre-season match with Everton FC.