D’Arrigo, Popović named in Olyroos qualifiers

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The Australian U-23 men’s national football team commence their Paris 2024 OlympicsÔ qualification preparations this month, when a highly talented 24-player squad assembles for a European training camp to take place during the upcoming FIFA men’s International window from 20 – 28 March.

Comprising of fifteen footballers from the Isuzu UTE A-League Men competition and nine overseas-based players, this is Tony Vidmar’s first squad since being appointed Olyroos’ Head Coach, with the camp to be held at the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre located in Gavirate, Varese in Northern Italy.

The Olyroos have an important seven months ahead, with the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024Ô Qualifiers scheduled for 4 – 12 September 2023, and if the team progresses, the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024Ô in early 2024 (dates to be confirmed by AFC) which double as Paris 2024 OlympicsÔ qualifiers.

“We have selected an exciting squad of 24-players for this camp in Italy, which is reward for their strong performances in the A-League Men’s competition and their respective club sides overseas,” explained Vidmar.

“As a squad, we only have a small window of time to prepare for our AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers, with this camp being one of only two we will have prior to September. So, this time at the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre will be an important opportunity for the players we’ve not seen for some time to impress the coaching staff for future selection,” said Vidmar.

As part of the nine-day camp, the Olyroos will play two friendly matches against quality opposition in the form of the Switzerland U-21 national team in Bellinzona, Switzerland on Friday, 24 March (7.00pm local time) and Serie B outfit, Como 1907 (venue TBC) on Monday, 27 March (3.00pm local).

“Holding this camp in Europe has provided us with the opportunity to organise two matches against top-level competition, which we need when you consider it’s almost nine months since the Olyroos last played together,” said Vidmar.

“Being able to give all players the chance to test themselves against quality teams is important leading into the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers in September and the AFC U-23 Asian Cup early next year, which double as Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifiers,” concluded Vidmar.
The Olyroos will come together again from 2 – 18 June, when they contest the Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 in Aix-en-Provence, France. This event features twelve U-23 national men’s teams from five Confederations, where it’s expected that Australia will play at least four matches across the 16-days, providing ideal tournament preparation ahead of the September qualifiers.

The draw for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024Ô qualifiers is set to take place in May.

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