Irankunda, Phillis, Talladira selected for Joeys Camp

Adelaide United players, Nestory Irankunda, Sotiri Phillis, and Fabian Talladira have all been selected by Australian U17 Men’s National Team Head Coach, Brad Maloney, for a two-week training camp in Melbourne. The camp is part of preparations for the Joeys’ upcoming AFC U17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers.

This camp will be Maloney’s first since being appointed Joeys’ Head Coach last month, and will run from Saturday, 17 September through until Friday, 30 September before a 23-player squad is named to represent Australia at the Qualifiers to be contested in Shepparton (VIC) from 5 – 9 October 2022.

Whilst an Australian U-16 representative team recently participated in an AFF tournament in Indonesia, the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™Qualifiers will be the first international activity for the Joeys’ program since 2019, where Australia will face China PR, Cambodia, and Northern Mariana Islands in Group G as they look to qualify for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ scheduled for May.

Upon announcing the 30-players selected for this training camp, Brad Maloney said: “After being in hiatus for the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s exciting for all concerned to convene this Joeys’ camp as we prepare for what we hope and plan will be a busy and fruitful two years for this age group,” Maloney explained. 

“My staff and I have selected a talented and versatile squad for this camp, where following an intensive fortnight on the training ground we will select the final 23-players who will move forward to the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers next month.

“We will face tough opposition in Shepparton, particularly from China and Cambodia whose youth programs continued throughout the pandemic, so ensuring both the technical staff and players make the most of this two-week training camp is important to put ourselves in a strong position heading into the Qualifiers,” Maloney concluded.

Australia’s Group in Shepparton is one of ten that will be contested concurrently, featuring 44 countries from across Asia, all vying for 16 spots in the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™. 

To qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2023™, a team needs to top their respective Group or be one of the five best placed Group runners-up. From the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ – where the host country/dates are TBA – the top four teams from this tournament will qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup™ as the AFC representatives.

The AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers event in Shepparton is with thanks to Greater Shepparton City Council and is a beneficiary of funding from the Regional Sports Event Fund, supported by the Australian Sports Commission.

Match Schedule – Group G of the AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers

7:00pm ACST
5 October 2022
Australia vs Northern Mariana IslandsShepparton Sports City Precinct
7:00pm ACST
7 October 2022
Cambodia vs AustraliaShepparton Sports City Precinct
2:30pm ACST
9 October 2022
Australia vs China PRShepparton Sports City Precinct