Elasi selected in U-20 World Cup preliminary squad

Melbourne Victory striker Nathan Elasi has been named in the Qantas Young Socceroos' preliminary squad of 30 players for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009, which will take place in Egypt from September 24 to October 16.

Melbourne Victory striker Nathan Elasi has been named in the Qantas Young Socceroos' preliminary squad of 30 players for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009, which will take place in Egypt from September 24 to October 16.

"Our campaign has been going over a year and during that time I have been able to get a very good idea on the quality and talent of all the players in this age group," Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Jan Versleijen said.

"Most of the players have stepped up to international standard and improved along the way.

"When we chose the squad we looked for balance with at least two players for every position covered and also that the players were playing regularly for their club.

"Everyone had enough chances to impress, but unfortunately not everyone can be selected.

"For those players that missed out, I want to make the point that there will be other opportunities in the future to represent Australia at international tournaments. Not being selected in this squad does not mean players will not be selected in future squads.

"The next few weeks will be very exciting with these players needing to continue their form right up to the final selection.

"Apart from being technically and tactically strong, they will need to be physically and mentally tough because there are no excuses and no second chances at a World Cup."

Included in the preliminary squad are 21 players from the Hyundai A-League and nine overseas-based players.

Football Federation Australia is required to submit the preliminary list today, with the final squad of 21 players to be drawn from the preliminary list and announced in Sydney on September 8.

Australia has been in drawn in Group E of the FIFA U-20 World Cup alongside Brazil, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic.

The final Qantas Young Socceroos squad will depart on September 14 for a final training camp in Cyprus, where the team will play friendly matches against Trinidad and Tobago, England and USA before travelling to Egypt.

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