Young Brisbane trio James Donachie, Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren were today selected by Australian u/23 boss Aurelio Vidmar for the upcoming AFC u/23 Championships in Qatar which doubles as 2016 Olympic Games qualification.
Australia will play UAE (14/01), Vietnam (17/01) and Jordan (20/01) in the group stage of the tournament and will need to finish top two in the group to progress to the Quarter-Finals. In order to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics next August the Olyroos will need to finish in the top three of this competition.
As preparation for the tournament the side will head to Dubai a week prior to the tournament to acclimatise to the conditions and give the side the bench chance to qualify after the Olyroos fell in the final round of AFC qualifying in 2012.
For Brisbane this means that they will be without the trio for almost the entire month of January, with the players set to depart following the home game against Perth Glory on January 2nd
Maclaren, Borrello and Donachie will definitely miss games against Wellington Phoenix (10/01- A), Melbourne Victory (15/01- A) and Adelaide United (22/01- H) through the group stage of the tournament.
Should they progress to the final stages of the tournament as expected they will also miss the away game to Sydney FC on January 30th before returning to the fold for the home game against Central Coast Mariners on February 6.
This will be a test of the depth of John Aloisi’ squad as they’ll be without two prominent attacking players for the best part of the month and the emphasis will be on the likes of Jean Carlos Solórzano to step up and fill the void. Youngsters such as Nicholas D’Agostino, Devante Clut and Shannon Brady will also move into the selection frame.
At the back Aloisi has been lucky this season with the form and fitness for Jade North and Daniel Bowles limiting the playing time for Donachie this season, while Luke DeVere is on the comeback trial from a long term injury.
Australian squad for the 2016 AFC u-23 Championships
Goalkeepers- Jack Duncan, Paul Izzo, Aaron Lennox.
Defenders- Cameron Burgess, Thomas Deng, James Donachie, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Scott Galloway, Jason Geria, Alex Gersbach.
Midfielders- Mustafa Amini, Terry Antonis, Josh Brillante, Daniel de Silva, Ryan Edwards, Andrew Hoole, Chris Ikonomidis, Stefan Mauk, Steven Ugarkovic.
Forwards- Brandon Borrello, Jamie Maclaren, Connor Pain, Adam Taggart.