Vrankovic selected for AFC U22 Championships

Melbourne Heart FC defender David Vrankovic has been selected in a 23-man squad to take part in the AFC U22 Championships in Oman, from 11-26 January 2014.

Melbourne Heart FC defender David Vrankovic has been selected in a 23-man squad to take part in the AFC U22 Championships in Oman, from 11-26 January 2014.

Vrankovic is one of 15 players selected from the Hyundai A-League, while there are seven overseas-based players with coach Aurelio Vidmar naming the squad with a view to starting preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games cycle.

Ben Garuccio, Stefan Mauk and Jeremy Walker have been named on standby for the tournament, and could be called into the squad at anytime until the team departs for the tournament if there are any injuries to the selected squad.

“This tournament is the ideal platform to start our preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games,” Vidmar said.

“It is an U22 tournament but we have selected players who will be eligible for the 2016 Olympics and start exposing them to international competition in the lead up to the qualifiers.

“We are excited about the squad we-ve put together with a good mix of boys making an impact in the Hyundai A-League and also playing overseas and it will be good to get them together in a string group at what will be a good competition.”

Australia has been drawn in Group C where they will meet Japan, Iran and Kuwait with the top two teams progressing to the quarter finals of the tournament.

Australia-s matches: Sun 12 Jan Australia v Kuwait Royal Oman Police Stadium 5pm (Midnight AEDT) Tue 14 Jan Iran v Australia Royal Oman Police Stadium 5pm (Midnight AEDT) Thu 16 Jan Australia v Japan Royal Oman Police Stadium 5pm (Midnight AEDT) Mon 20 Jan Possible quarter finals Thu 23 Jan Possible semi finals Sat 25 Jan 3rd v 4th playoff Sun 26 Jan Tournament Final

Australian Squad for the AFC U22 Championships in Oman, from 11-26 January 2014: Nicholas Ansell (Melbourne Victory), Jake Barker-Daish (Adelaide United), Josh Brilliante (Newcastle jets), Corey Brown (Brisbane Roar), Reece Caira (Wellington Phoenix), Connor Chapman (Newcastle Jets), Travis Cooper (VVV Venlo, The Netherlands), James Donachie (Brisbane Roar), Jack Duncan g/k (Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (Perth Glory), Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory), Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory), Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC), John Hall g/k (Adelaide United), Andrew Hoole (Newcastle Jets), Chris Ikonomidis (SS Lazio, Italy), Aaron Lennox g/k (QPR, England), Jamie McLaren (Perth Glory), Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory), Peter Skapetis (QPR, England), Dylan Tombides (West Ham, England), Kwame Yeboah (Brisbane Roar) and David Vrankovic (Melbourne Heart)