Olyroo Andrew: Hoole headed to Chinese Taipei

Newcastle Jets ace Andrew Hoole has been rewarded for his strong form in the Hyundai A-League with a call up the Australian U-23 team to travel to Chinese Taipei this month.

The road to the 2016 Olympic Games officially starts this March, and today Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar named a 23-man squad for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qualifiers (Group F) to be played at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung City.

Vidmar has named 11 players from the Hyundai A-League and 12 from overseas clubs for matches in Group F of AFC Qualifying against Hong Kong (27 March), Chinese Taipei (29 March) and Myanmar (31 March).

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Former Jets stars Adam Taggart (Fulham FC) and Josh Brillante (Empoli) have also been selected in the squad.

“It’s exciting to start the qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games and we’ve put together a squad that has some good international experience and showing good form at club level, both in Australia and throughout Europe,” Vidmar said.

“The bulk of the squad played in the friendlies late last year when we defeated Korea Republic and drew with Brazil.”

Vidmar will look to create the same environment and football structures--structures that propelled the Socceroos to victory in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup--for the Olyroos when they travel, stay and compete in Kaohsiung City, as well as throughout the entire campaign. 

“An important part of the changes that have been driven by Ange (Postecoglou) include aligning the structures of all the National teams to enable players to make a smooth transition through the age groups,” he said.

“The players will operate under the same conditions and structures as the Socceroos so they understand what is required to play international football, which will help in our endeavours to qualify for the Olympic Games but also assist with their development as footballers.”

The AFC U-23 Championship, which will be played in Qatar in 2016, also doubles as the qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The top three (3) ranked teams from the AFC U-23 Championship qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games Football Tournament.

To progress to the AFC U-23 Championship, the Olyroos need to finish top of Group F in Chinese Taipei or be one of the best five second place teams.

Friday 27 March – Australia vs. Hong Kong – National Stadium, Kaohsiung City – Kick-off: 7:00pm AEDT
Sunday 29 March – Chinese Taipei vs. Australia – National Stadium, Kaohsiung City – Kick-off: 10:00pm AEDT
Tuesday 31 March – Australia vs. Myanmar – National Stadium, Kaohsiung City – Kick-off: 7:00pm AEDT