Cox named for Olyroos

Ethan Cox Olyroos

Subway Olyroos’ Head Coach, Tony Vidmar has named an exciting 23-man squad ahead of the upcoming AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024TM Qualifiers, being held in Tajikistan during September, including Adelaide United’s Ethan Cox. 

he Subway Olyroos will begin assembling in Dushanbe at the end of August to commence their preparations for group games scheduled for September 6 (Laos) and 12 (Tajikistan) at the Republican Central Stadium, Dushanbe. 

Vidmar’s squad features several players currently plying their trade in Europe including Cam Peupion (Brighton Hove & Albion FC), Calem Nieuwenhof (Heart of Midlothian FC), Marlee Francois (Bristol City FC), Nectarios Triantis (Sunderland AFC) and Patrick Yazbek (Viking FK). 

They will be joined by the likes of Callum Talbot (Melbourne City FC), Jacob Farrell (Central Coast Mariners FC), Jake Hollman (Macarthur Bulls FC), Nishan Velupillay (Melbourne Victory FC) and Noah Botic (Western United) from the Isuzu UTE A-League. 

Australia have been drawn into Group I and will face Laos and Tajikistan in a three-team group, following the recent withdrawal of the DPR Korea from qualification. 

To qualify for the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024TM, Australia will need to finish as group winner or be one of the four best second placed teams among all eleven groups.  

Subway Olyroos’ Head Coach, Tony Vidmar was pleased with his squad’s preparation in the lead up to this all-important qualification period, which has implications not only for the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024TM but the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

“This is the beginning of a really significant period within our program, and I’m pleased with the work we’ve been able to put in as a group up to this point,” Vidmar said. 

“We had a fantastic lead-up to the Maurice Revello Tournament in France with a pre-camp at the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre in Gavirate, Italy. We were able to train, spend time together as a group and most importantly, play five quality games. 

“There is nothing that can replicate the benefits of quality match minutes and I believe that’s prepared us well for the upcoming qualifiers.” 

If the Subway Olyroos are successful in qualifying for next year’s AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024TM, the tournament will also double as a qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which Vidmar said only provides further motivation for his playing group. 

“To represent your country at an Olympic Games is special, the significance of that opportunity isn’t lost on this group of players,” Vidmar added. 

“We need to be at our best in this first phase and make sure we can effectively execute our plans, giving us an opportunity to progress to the Asian Cup and beyond. 

“We want to give our players the best environment to help them succeed and ultimately earn opportunities like playing at an Asian Cup or an Olympic Games, this only goes to helping their development both on and off the pitch. 

“In the short-term that effort, dedication and commitment sets a foundation for success as a group and off the back of that, provides opportunities for individuals to eventually transition into the senior men’s team – an extremely important role this program plays in the wider national team set up,” Vidmar concluded. 


Should the Subway Olyroos qualify for the 16-team AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024TM, they need to finish in the top three to automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics as the AFC representatives, while the fourth-best team will play an AFC-CAF play-off match for the final qualification spot.  

AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 Qualifiers – Group I
Laos v Australia  
Date: Wednesday, 6 September 2023  
Time: 8:30pm (local) / 1:30am AEST (Thursday, 7 September) Republican Central Stadium, Dushanbe  

Australia v Tajikistan 
Date: Tuesday, 12 September 2023  
Time: 8:30pm (local) / 1:30am AEST (Wednesday, 13 September) Republican Central Stadium, Dushanbe