Brisbane Roar teenager Nick D’Agostino has been selected in the Young Socceroos squad to contest next week’s AFC Under-19 Championship qualifiers in Laos.
The 17-year-old’s selection in the Australian squad helps ease the disappointment earlier this week of missing out on the final Joeys (Under 17) squad to contest the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile next month.
“It was disappointing not to be selected for the World Cup. Everyone wants to go to a World Cup at such a young age to get the experience,” D’Agostino said.
“But I’ve still got the chance to play international football for an older age group which is a real positive.
“Hopefully I can bang in a few goals in Laos and help my country qualify.”
D’Agostino, who played junior football on the Gold Coast with Runaway Bay and got minutes for the Roar against Liverpool FC in July (below), is one of 15 players from Hyundai A-League clubs selected by Young Socceroos Head Coach Paul Okon. The 23-player squad also includes four overseas-based players.
Okon is confident the squad is the challenge of qualifying for the AFC U-19 Championship. The Australians are grouped with Japan, the Philippines and the host nation Laos.
“This is the start of this group’s World Cup journey. It will be a difficult challenge, especially with Japan in our group,” Okon said.
“We have had a number of camps and training matches together and the boys know the type of football we want to play.
“The challenge now is to perform under tournament conditions.”
The Young Socceroos open their campaign against the Philippines on Friday 2 October, then Laos on Sunday 4 October and finally Japan on Tuesday 6 October.
Ten group winners and five best second-placed teams will qualify for the AFC U-19 Championships while hosts Bahrain received an automatic qualification (total 16 teams).
The top four teams from the AFC U-19 Championship then qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 in the Korea Republic
The Young Socceroos squad is: Daniel ALESSI (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Adam BERRY (Central Coast Mariners), Nicholas D’AGOSTINO (Brisbane Roar FC), Caio DE GODOY (Emerging Jets Squad), Thomas DENG (Melbourne Victory), Cameron DEVLIN (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Patrick FLOTTMAN (Blacktown City), Alusine FOFANAH (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Alex GERSBACH (Sydney FC), Thomas GLOVER (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Jordan HOLMES (AFC Bournemouth, England), Steve KUZMANOVSKI (Melbourne City FC), Daniel MARGUSH ( Adelaide United), George MELLS (Adelaide United), William MUTCH (Blacktown Spartans), Connor O’TOOLE (Seiritsu Gakuen Tokyo, Japan), Dejan PANDUREVIC (Manly United FC), Lachlan ROBERTS (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), Liam ROSE (Central Coast Mariners), Mario SHABOW (Western Sydney Wanderers FC), George TIMOTHEOU (Blacktown City), Brandon WILSON (Burnley FC, England), Liam YOULLEY (Western Sydney Wanderers FC).