Rising Glory stars Cameron Cook and Keegan Jelacic will head to France next month to represent the Olyroos (Australia Under-23s) at the prestigious Maurice Revello Tournament.
Formerly known as the Toulon Tournament, the Maurice Revello Tournament is usually for U-20 and U-21 national teams, but this year, to support countries preparing for Paris 2024 Olympics qualification, teams can feature players born between 2001 and 2004.
Tony Vidmar’s squad will first assemble at the AIS European Training Centre in Varese, Italy on May 26 for a six-day camp in preparation for the Maurice Revello Tournament which will be played at six venues across Aix-en-Provence.
The tournament will feature twelve U-23 national men’s teams from five confederations and Australia will play at least four matches from 6 – 18 June, providing ideal tournament preparation for September’s AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 qualifiers.
In the tournament draw, which was released in March, Australia were placed in Group B with Qatar (6 June, Aubagne), Togo (9 June, Mallemort) and Mexico (12 June, Aubagne).
Group A, meanwhile, features Costa Rica, France, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, with Group C comprising Bolivia, Ivory Coast, Japan and Panama.
Vidmar believes that the tournament will provide his young charges with an ideal opportunity to test themselves against a range of world-class sides.
“The Maurice Revello Tournament is vitally important to our preparations for September’s U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers,” he said, “as this will be our last real activity, competition-wise.
“We will face three different types of opposition during the group stage and could potentially play up to five matches in the space of a fortnight, subjecting the players to similar tournament conditions to those we will face during September’s qualifiers and next year’s Asian Cup, should we qualify.
“We head to France with an intent to win and will use every opportunity to gain valuable experience leading into the qualifiers.”
Cook (21) and Jelacic (20) will head to Europe off the back of outstanding A-League campaigns in purple, with the former making 17 starts and the latter scoring two goals and adding four assists in his 22 appearances.
The draw for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 qualifiers is set to take place on May 25, where the teams are seeded according to their performance in the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022.
On that occasion, the Australians reached the semi-finals before losing 2-0 to the eventual tournament winners, Saudi Arabia.
To qualify for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024, Australia will need to finish as group winner or be one of the four best second-placed teams among all eleven groups.
Should the Subway Olyroos qualify for the 16-team AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024, they need to finish in the top three to automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics as the AFC representatives, while the fourth-best team will play an AFC-CAF play-off match for the final qualification spot.