Brisbane Roar defender James Donachie has been named in 23-player Australian Under-23 squad to play two international friendly matches against the Korea Republic in Hwaseong and Incheon next month.
The matches coincide with the Roar’s opening game of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season, away to Western Sydney Wanderers FC on Thursday, 8 October, which Donachie will now miss.
Roar strikers Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren, who were in the Olyroos squad that played matches in Turkey and Macedonia earlier this month were not named in the latest squad.
Maclaren is still receiving treatment on a knee which became swollen after his flight back from the last Olyroos tour.
Olyroos Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar (below) selected 13 overseas-based players, 7 Hyundai A-League players with Aaron Lennox, Ryan Edwards and Brad Smith currently uncontracted.
The squad includes former Roar players Kwame Yeboah, who now plays in Germany, Kenneth Dougall, who now plays in Holland and fellow Queenslander Josh Brillante, who now plays in Italy. Melbourne Victory defender Jason Geria also is a former Roar Youth player.
Last weekend’s draw for the AFC U-23 Championship saw the Olyroos grouped with United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Jordan and Vidmar can now focus on the task of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games.
“These matches are another important step in our preparations for the Olympic qualifiers in January,” said Vidmar.
“Korea Republic will provide strong opposition as we head towards the Qualifiers and gives us the opportunity to work on so a few things and keep improving so we give ourselves the best possible opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games.”
“The spirit among the players is fantastic, they’re keen to learn and be part of the Olyroos so we’re really looking forward to these matches.”
The Olyroos will face the Korea Republic in two friendly matches on 9 and 12 October at the Hwaseong Sports Complex Stadium and Icheon Sports Complex Stadium respectively.
Australia begins its AFC U-23 Championship Doha 2016 campaign against the United Arab Emirates on 14 January at the Grand Hamad Stadium, before taking on Vietnam at the same venue on 17 January, with their final group match against Jordan on 20 January at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Sixteen nations have qualified for the AFC U-23 Championship Doha 2016 with the top three progressing to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Football tournament.
Australian U23 squad: Mustafa AMINI (Randers FC, Denmark), Josh BRILLANTE (Calcio Como, Italy), Cameron BURGESS (Fulham FC, England), Milos DEGENEK (1860 Munich, Germany), James DONACHIE (Brisbane Roar FC), Kenneth DOUGALL (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Jack DUNCAN (gk) (Randers FC, Denmark), Ryan EDWARDS (Uncontracted), Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO (Swansea FC, England), Scott GALLOWAY (Melbourne Victory FC), Jason GERIA (Melbourne Victory FC), Aaron LENNOX (gk) (uncontracted), Andrew HOOLE (Sydney FC), Chris IKONOMIDIS (SS Lazio, Italy), Jackson IRVINE (Ross County, Scotland), Paul IZZO (gk) (Central Coast Mariners), Christopher NAUMOFF (Sydney FC), Connor PAIN (Melbourne Victory FC), Brad SMITH (uncontracted), Adam TAGGART (Fulham FC, England), Steven UGARKOVIC (NK Osijek, Croatia), Ryan WILLIAMS (Barnsley, England), Kwame YEBOAH (Borussia Monchengladbach II, Germany).