Glory duo Jake Brimmer and Brandon Wilson have both been named in the Australia Under-23 squad for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers set to take place later this month.
Graham Arnold’s side will initially travel to Kuala Lumpur for a week-long training camp before continuing on to Phnom Penh where they will take on hosts Cambodia, Chinese Taipei and Korea Republic in qualifying Group H.
A first-place finish in the group would guarantee the young Aussies a place at next year’s AFC U-23 Championship, while they could also qualify as one of the four best second-placed teams.
The fifth-best second-placed team will also progress should Thailand, who have already qualified automatically as tournament hosts, finish first or second in their group.
The tournament will assume extra significance as it serves as Asia’s qualification path for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Brimmer and Wilson, who have both featured on a regular basis in Glory’s Hyundai A-League squad this season, spent last week in camp in Canberra where Arnold trimmed down his squad from 38 to 24 players.
And the Head Coach is relishing the prospect of starting out on a long and challenging journey that he hopes will culminate in an appearance at the Olympics.
“The week that we have together in Kuala Lumpur will be vital in preparing us for the challenges that we will face in Phnom Penh,” he said, “and we certainly appreciate the support of all the clubs that are releasing their players to participate in what is an important tournament for Australia.
“While we are in Malaysia we will develop our key principles of play and focus on how we believe we can successfully navigate Group H and secure our place at next year’s AFC U-23 Championship in Thailand.
“Our three matches in Cambodia represent our first step on the path to next year’s Olympic Games and everyone involved with our squad is eager to help Australia return to the men’s football tournament for the first time since Beijing in 2008.”
With the qualifiers being held during a FIFA window, Brimmer and Wilson will only be unavailable for one Glory game which is the Round 22 clash with Adelaide United.