Nick D’Agostino is a shock omission from the Olyroos squad for matches against A-League teams Sydney FC and Macarthur FC.
The Perth Glory striker was the hero of the Olyroos’ Tokyo Olympics qualifying campaign in January, and had been expected to be part of the Australian under-23 squad named on Monday by coach Graham Arnold.
But a fully fit D’Agostino, who will travel to Qatar on Saturday with the Perth Glory squad for AFC Champions League commitments and would only have been available for the Olyroos’ match on Thursday against Sydney FC, wasn’t named.
However, his Glory teammate Brandon Wilson and Sydney FC players Tom Heward-Belle, Luke Ivanovic and Joel King, who are also heading to Qatar for Champions League duties, were chosen by Arnold.
Another notable omission was Brisbane Roar striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls.
With the camp and matches being in Sydney, Wenzel-Halls would have been forced to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine on his return to Queensland due to the Queensland’s government strict measures for those crossing the border from parts of NSW.
Eleven players from the squad that in January gained qualification for the Olympics, which were delayed until next year due to COVID-19, are in the 26-man squad.
The last time the Australia U-23's took to the field, Nick @daggers_98 did this! 🔥
The U-23's are back in action this Thursday, taking on Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Tickets & streaming info: https://t.co/bkrWBybGzW pic.twitter.com/LMTxQ3U7eK
“After a year of little national team activity, the players arrived yesterday eager to be back in camp and to resume the journey to Tokyo,” Olyroos mentor Arnold said.
“Australia’s history in the men’s football competition at the Olympic Games dates back to Melbourne 1956, and this generation of players helped to secure Australia’s men’s team a return to the Olympic Games for the first time since Beijing 2008.
“This group of players – and the many more we are monitoring in Australia and overseas – have the opportunity to be part of a special period in Olyroos history as we work towards Tokyo.
“The next nine days and the forthcoming A-League season represents a fresh start and a great opportunity for all players to push their case for Olyroos selection in Tokyo.”
Following their Jubilee Stadium clash against the Sky Blues on Thursday, the Olyroos meet Macarthur at the same venue on Tuesday week.
Olyroos squad – Nathaniel ATKINSON, Keanu BACCUS, Daniel BOUMAN, Cameron DEVLIN, Denis GENREAU, Thomas GLOVER, Tom HEWARD-BELLE, Luke IVANOVIC, Joel KING, John KOUTROUMBIS, Joshua LAWS, Connor METCALFE, Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, Ramy NAJJARINE, Jordan O’DOHERTY, Aiden O’NEILL, Connor O’TOOLE, Adam PEARCE, Reno PISCOPO, Kye ROWLES, Tate RUSSELL, Nicholas SORRAS, Ryan STRAIN, Angus THURGATE, Lachlan WALES, Brandon WILSON.
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