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Young Socceroos take first step towards 2005

ASA: The Young Socceroos will take the first step in their campaign to qualify for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship with a two-week camp in France over the coming fortnight.

Australian Under 20 Coach Ange Postecoglou and his 20-man squad will depart today for Europe where they will be based in Lievin on the outskirts of Lens from 6-13 April and in Paris from 13-19 April.

Two players, Vince Lia and Mark Milligan, will be embarking on their second FIFA World Youth Championship campaign. Lia played in the Championship held in the United Arab Emirates last November/December while Milligan featured in the tournament’s warm-up games but was a last-minute withdrawal from the squad due to a knee injury.

Also eligible for a second World Youth Championship campaign is Newcastle United’s Jobe Wheelhouse who is currently unavailable for selection with an ankle injury and Spase Dilevski of Rot Weiss Essen in Germany who has been a regular member of the Australian Under-23 team throughout 2004.

The Australian squad also features four players that featured in last year’s FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland – Jacob Timpano, Adrian Leijer, Keegan Wolfenden and Kristian Sarkies.

The full squad is:

Goalkeepers

Danny Vukovic (Parramatta Power), Adam Federeci (Sardinia, Italy)

Defenders

Mark Milligan (Blacktown City), Jacob Timpano (Wollongong Wolves), Adrian Leijer (Melbourne Knights), Liam Lilley (Perth Glory), Keegan Wolfenden (Newcastle United), Nikolai Tapor-Stanley (Canberra Deakin), Trent McClenahan (West Ham United, England)

Midfielders

Vince Lia (South Melbourne), Kristian Sarkies (South Melbourne), Stuart Musialik (Newcastle United), Nick Stavroulakis (Empoli, Italy), Christopher Tadrosse (uncontracted), Billy Celeski (uncontracted), Kaz Patafata (AIS)

Forwards

Nick Ward (Perth Glory), Mark Bridge (Parramatta Power), Jay Lucas (Southampton, England), Marinos Gasparis (Bulleen)

The squad will compete in four friendly matches at the two camp venues. The team’s full match itinerary is:

v Lille u-23, Lievin – April 7

v Belgium Selection, Lievin – April 10

v Racing Lens u-23, Lievin – April 13

v Paris St Germain u-23, Paris – April 19

The OFC World Youth Championship Qualifying Tournament is currently scheduled to be held next January with the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship to be held in The Netherlands between 10 June – 2 July 2005.

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