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WA duo in Joeys squad

FFA Media

West Australians Joshua Rawlins and Aiki Tsukamoto have been selected to represent Australia in this month’s AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The two former Football West State players were named in Australia’s U-17 Men’s National Team Head Coach Trevor Morgan’s 23-player squad today.

Rawlins and Tsukamoto also helped the Football West WA State Under 13s win the National Youth Championships in 2017. They are now at Perth Glory.

The youngsters, who represent Australia’s younger Joeys age group and not the older cohort set to venture to this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil, will contest Group H of qualifying in Vietnam and will come up against the host nation, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, and Macau.

Australia will need to top its qualification group or finish as one of the four best second-placed teams across the 11 groups to advance to the 2020 AFC U-16 Championship.

The 2020 AFC U-16 Championship serves as the qualification tournament for the 2021 FIFA U-17 World Cup, with four nations set to advance from that tournament as Asia’s representatives at the prestigious world youth competition.

“Many of the players involved in our squad for the upcoming fixtures in Hanoi recently played their first international matches at the 2019 AFF U-15 Championship in Thailand,” Morgan said.

“We could see the growth of many of the players as they secured three wins and a draw from their five games in Chonburi, and during this qualification tournament we are expecting to see further development individually and collectively with the sizeable prize in the form of qualification for the 2020 AFC U-16 Championship on the line.

“We will also welcome some new players into the group for the trip to Vietnam, and I am excited to see how they adapt to the challenge and opportunity of representing our nation at youth level,” he said.

Joshua Rawlins (circled, black) and Aiki Tsukamoto (circled, red) with the rest of the NYC-winning WA squad in 2017

With Morgan currently in the United Kingdom with the older Joeys age group as they prepare for friendly internationals against England, Brazil, and Korea Republic over the coming week, Michael Cooper will guide the younger Joeys age group throughout their pre-departure camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) between September 9 and 11.

Cooper will be assisted by Airton Andrioli from Football Federation South Australia and Pat Hedges from Football Queensland, as they offer their youth development expertise to the Joeys.

The Joeys will play all of their four fixtures in Hanoi at the National Youth Football Training Centre in Hanoi, with their first fixture against Mongolia taking place on Monday, 16 September 2019.

Joeys 23-Player Squad | 2020 AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers (Group H) | September 14 – 22 2019 | Hanoi, Vietnam

Name Club, State
Joseph CALUSIC Sydney FC, New South Wales
Ethan COX (Gk) FFSA NTC, South Australia
Massimo D’ARGENIO Moreland Zebras, Victoria
Alex DENMEAD Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales
Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH Sydney FC, New South Wales
Daniel HELWEH Marconi Stallions, New South Wales
Alessandro LOPANE Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales
Thomas LOPEZ Marconi Stallions, New South Wales
Lachlan MACDONALD Sutherland Sharks FC, New South Wales
Alexander MENELAOU Melbourne City FC, Victoria
Aiden MOSTOFI Sydney FC, New South Wales
Nathan NGUYEN Brisbane Roar FC, Queensland
James NIEUWENHUIZEN (Gk) Goulburn Valley Suns FC, Victoria
Bernardo OLIVEIRA FFSA NTC, South Australia
Nicholas PANUCCIO Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales
Joshua RAWLINS Perth Glory FC, Western Australia
Matthew SCARCELLA Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales
Adrian SEGECIC Sydney FC, New South Wales
Luka SMYTH Sydney FC, New South Wales
Thomas STOBIERSKI Western Sydney Wanderers FC, New South Wales
Mohamed TOURE FFSA NTC, South Australia
Aiki TSUKAMOTO Perth Glory FC, Western Australia
Jack WARSHAWSKY (Gk) Brisbane Roar FC, Queensland

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Joeys | Match Schedule | 2020 AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers (Group H)

Mongolia v Australia
Date: Monday, 16 September 2019
Venue: National Youth Football Training Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam
Kick-off: 7.00pm (local); 8.00pm (WST)

Australia v Macau
Date: Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Venue: National Youth Football Training Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam
Kick-off: 7.00pm (local); 8.00pm (WST)

Timor-Leste v Australia
Date: Friday, 20 September 2019
Venue: National Youth Football Training Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam
Kick-off: 4.00pm (local); 5.00pm (WST)

Australia v Vietnam
Sunday, 22 September 2019
Venue: National Youth Football Training Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam
Kick-off: 7.00pm (local); 8.00pm (WST)