Aurelio Vidmar has chosen eighteen young A-League players for the basis of Australia's team in the upcoming AFC U22 Championships held in Oman. The tournament will take place between January 12-26, depending on how the Young Socceroos fare, and will take each of the players away from his club team for a period of time. The players come from eight of the A-League's ten clubs with only Western Sydney Wanderers and Central Coast Mariners not represented.
Vidmar, the former Adelaide United player and manager, explained the importance of the tournament in an FFA press release:
"This tournament is the ideal platform to start our preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games. It is a 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 competition."
Australia is in Group C with Japan, Kuwait and Iran.
Here are the players chosen for the tournament, separated by A-League and European based clubs:
Nick Ansell (Melbourne Victory), Jake Barker-Daish (Adelaide United), Josh Brillante (Newcastle Jets), Corey Brown (Brisbane Roar), Reece Caira (Wellington Phoenix), Connor Chapman (Newcastle Jets), James Donachie (Brisbane Roar), Jack Duncan (Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (Perth Glory), Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory), Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory), Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC), John Hall (Adelaide United), Andrew Hoole (Newcastle Jets), Jamie Maclaren (Perth Glory), Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory), Kwame Yeboah (Brisbane Roar/Borussia Mönchengladbach), David Vrankovic (Melbourne Heart)
Travis Cooper (VVV Venlo), Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio), Aaron Lennox (QPR), Peter Skapteis (QPR), Dylan Tombides (West Ham United)