Five members of the PGFC Academy have been named in a 30-strong Subway Joeys (Australia Under-17s) squad which will gather for a five-day training camp to be held at the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation at Narrabeen later this month.
Attacker Daniel Bennie, goalkeeper Robert Cook, defender Andriano Lebib and midfielder Jaylan Pearman and Corey Sutherland, who have been starring for the PGFC Academy First Team this season, will be keen to impress during the camp which is being held as part of the Joeys’ preparations for June’s AFC U-17 Asian Cup in Thailand.
Australia will need to reach the semi-finals of the Asian Cup in order to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup which is being held later this year (venue TBC) and Head Coach, former Glory midfielder Brad Maloney, is relishing the chance to bring the brightest young talents in the country together for an extended period.
“If we wish to achieve our goal of qualifying for this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup,” he said, “it’s important that we maximise every available opportunity to come together and build upon the foundations we first set during last year’s qualifiers.
“For this camp, we have deliberately called up Australian-based players, where several fresh faces will join the existing core group, providing an opportunity for as many players as possible to push their case for Asian Cup selection.
“Following last week’s Asian Cup draw, we now know who our group opponents will be, where this intensive camp will enable us to prepare tactically for the challenge that lays ahead in Thailand.”
Having finished top of their qualifying group hosted in Shepparton (Victoria) during October 2022, the Australians have been drawn in Group C for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023™ alongside Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia and China PR for the tournament to be contested in Bangkok and Chonburi from June 15 – July 2, 2023.
The AFC U-17 Asian Cu is back after a hiatus of almost five years due to the COVID pandemic and features the ten group winners and five best runners-up from the Qualifiers, along with hosts Thailand.