In another major boost for the PGFC Academy, six of its players have been included in an extended Joeys (Australia Under-17) squad for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023™ which will be staged in Bangkok and Chonburi from June 15th to July 2nd.
Goalkeeper Robert Cook, defensive duo Andriano Lebib and Jonathon Leithead, midfielders Giovanni De Abreu and Corey Sutherland and forward Daniel Bennie are the highly-rated youngsters who have continued the Academy’s impressive track record of developing national team players.
And with its six inclusions, Glory has more representatives than any of its A-League rivals.
Head Coach and former Glory midfielder, Brad Maloney, has picked an initial 28 players, 23 of whom will wear the green and gold in Thailand and he is looking forward to seeing how they perform in tournament conditions.
“The Under-17s Asian Cup will be the first major test for of our country’s brightest young talent and presents a platform for each to showcase themselves against the finest in Asia,” he said.
“However, as a collective we head to Thailand with one goal in mind and that’s to reach at least the semi-finals to secure qualification for this year’s FIFA Under-17s World Cup.
“The quality and strength across Asian nations, particularly at the youth level, continues to increase exponentially and we know we will have to be at our best to achieve our ambitions.”
Having finished top of their qualifying group hosted in Shepparton (Victoria) during October 2022, the Joeys have been drawn in Group C and will face Saudi Arabia (16 June) and China PR (19 June) at Chonburi Stadium, before completing the round-robin group stage format against Tajikistan (22 June) at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium.
The 2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup™ features the 10 group winners and five best runners-up from the Qualifiers, along with hosts Thailand.
Australia will need to reach the semi-finals to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2023™, currently scheduled to run 10 November – 2 December 2023, with the venue for that tournament still to be confirmed by FIFA following Peru’s withdrawal as host country.
Catch all the Subway Joeys’ AFC U-17 Asian Cup Thailand 2023 matches live and free on 10 Play.
(pictures courtesy of Tom McCarthy)