Kantarovski a Young Socceroo

Newcastle Jets’ defensive midfielder Ben Kantarovski has today been selected in the 21-player squad that will represent Australia at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

Newcastle Jets- defensive midfielder Ben Kantarovski has today been selected in the 21-player squad that will represent Australia at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

The Young Socceroos will travel to the USA on Saturday for a pre-tournament camp in Denver where they will play friendly matches against Korea Republic (20 July) and England (22 July).

“I am really excited to be selected in the Young Socceroos squad,” Kantarovski said following his selection.

“It is an honour to play for your country and a real privilege but first I need to prove my fitness.”

Kantarovski, who has been in rehabilitation for a knee injury, will need to pass a fitness test in the friendly matches played in America to remain in the squad and move on to the next phase in Colombia.

“I am hoping everything works out, that I can prove my fitness in Denver and then travel to Colombia with the team for the World Cup,” Kantarovski added.

“At this stage, all my focus is on being fit and everything else that comes my way is a bonus.”

Sixteen members of current squad, including Kantarovski, were part of the Qantas Young Socceroos squad that were runner-s up to DPR Korea at the AFC U-19 Championships last year, whilst a further five of those members, again including Kantarovski were also part of the Australian squad that competed at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009.

After a long and exhaustive selection process, Young Socceroos Head Coach Jan Versleijen believes that the squad he has selected will be ready to perform when the tournament begins at the end of the month.

“I am very happy with the final selection and it is good to have the majority of the squad back together that did so well at the AFC Championships last year,” said Versleijen

“It is very exciting that the tournament is so close and we will use our training camp in Denver, where we will play two friendly matches against quality opposition, to finalise our preparations.”

The Young Socceroos will play their first match of the tournament against Ecuador on Sunday 31 July, and then face Costa Rica on Wednesday 3 August before their final group match against Spain on Saturday 6 August.

Congratulations Ben.

Qantas Young Socceroos Squad for FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011

Matthew ACTON (gk) - Brisbane Roar Mustafa AMINI - Central Coast Mariners Terry ANTONIS - Sydney FC Jake BARKER-DAISH - Gold Coast United Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) - Adelaide United Kerem BULUT - Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic) Kofi DANNING - Brisbane Roar Matthew FLETCHER - Uncontracted Petar FRANJIC - Melbourne Victory Sam GALLAGHER - Central Coast Mariners Rhyan GRANT - Sydney FC Brendan HAMILL - Melbourne Heart Bernie IBINI-ISEI - Central Coast Mariners Ben KANTAROVSKI - Newcastle Jets Mathew LECKIE - Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany) Dylan McGOWAN - Gold Coast United Tommy OAR FC - Utrecht (Netherlands) Dimitrios PETRATOS - Sydney FC Trent SAINSBURY- Central Coast Mariners Lawrence THOMAS (gk) - uncontracted Marc WARREN - Sheffield United (UK)