Three Newcastle Jets players have been selected by Australian Under 23’s National Team Head Coach Josep Gombau in his 26-player squad ahead of the upcoming AFC U-23 Championship China 2018 Qualifiers to be held next month in Myanmar.
Lachlan Jackson, Nicholas Cowburn and Devante Clut will represent the Jets at a training camp in Sydney over the coming week, before finding out if they will travel to Myanmar as part of Gombau’s final 23-player squad on July 15.
The majority of the players in the initial squad are currently at Hyundai A-League clubs, with the additional four being overseas based.
Gombau is satisfied that the players that he and his coaching staff have picked will be able to progress beyond the qualification stage.
“I am very confident in the players we have picked for this tournament,” Gombau said.
“In all of the training camps we have had recently they have done really well and I am satisfied that the final 23 players that are chosen for the tournament can do the job.”
“For a lot of Asian countries they are currently in the middle of their seasons whereas in Australia it’s pre-season, but we have a number of players who have already been in pre-season for three weeks so they come into camp with some load and training under their belts.”
“We have a camp for 10 days leading up to the start of the tournament so I’m confident we will arrive at the first match in good shape.”
“The main objective is obviously to qualify for the AFC U-23 Championship but for me the key is that we have a squad that is highly competitive and there is depth among the entire group.”
“We have our kind of football and philosophy of how we want to play which is important because we want to play good football and develop these players to one day become Socceroos.”
“Of the other teams, Myanmar playing at home will have a bit of an advantage but we will definitely be respecting our other two opponents in the group as well,” he said.
The squad will gather in Sydney next week for a pre-tournament camp, which will feature two training matches against the Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Central Coast Mariners.
The squad will then be reduced to 23 players before heading to Myanmar on 15 July.
Australia’s first match will be against Brunei Darussalam on 19 July, followed by Singapore on 21 July and then the host nation, Myanmar, on 23 July.To qualify for next year’s AFC U-23 Championship, Australia needs to top its group or be one of the best five second placed teams of the ten qualifying groups.
All of the team’s qualification matches will be played at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon.