Mariners trio receive national call

THREE Central Coast Mariners players have today been selected for the Qantas Australian U23s squad for the forthcoming London Olympic Games – Third Round match against Iraq to be played at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford.

THREE Central Coast Mariners players have today been selected for the Qantas Australian U23s squad for the forthcoming London Olympic Games - Third Round match against Iraq to be played at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford.

Midfielder Tomas Rogic receives his first call-up to the U23 National Team, while Bernie Ibini and Sam Gallagher return to the squad for the match against Iraq.

Despite the Qantas Australian U23s being unable to qualify for the London Games later this year, each player will take great pride in representing their nation at the ground at which they play their club football with the Central Coast Mariners.

And, Qantas Australian U23s Head Coach, Aurelio Vidmar, is determined to finish the campaign on a positive note.

“It is obvious that mathematically we can-t qualify for the Olympic Games, but that doesn-t change the fact that this is an international match that we want to win,” Vidmar said.

“We have also selected the current group of players with the upcoming inaugural AFC U22 Asian Championship in mind to give them some valuable competitive international match experience.

“Although we will only have a limited preparation, I am sure that the boys will be looking to finish the campaign with a positive result,” concluded Vidmar.

Both the Qantas Australian U23s and Iraq are out of contention to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games, but in the other group match Uzbekistan will need to defeat the UAE in Tashkent to guarantee direct passage to the Olympics.

Regular Central Coast Mariners Qantas Australian U23 players Oliver Bozanic, Mathew Ryan and Mustafa Amini were left out of the squad due to the heavy schedule they face competing in both the AFC Champions League and Hyundai A-League. Bozanic, Ryan and Amini recently spent time in camp in the Middle East and Uzbekistan before travelling back to China with the Mariners.

Tomas Rogic, Bernie Ibini and Sam Gallagher are currently in Tianjin, China preparing for Wednesday's AFC Champions League Group G opener against Tianjin Teda FC.

AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games - Third Round Qantas Australian U23s v Iraq Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Wednesday, 14 March 2012 Kick-off: 7:30pm Gates Open 6.30pm

Ticket Prices General Public Adult $20.00 Concession/Child $10.00 Family $40.00

Football Family and registered players database pre-purchase price Adult $10.00 Concession/Child $5.00 Family $20.00

On Sale Dates 9am Friday 3 February, 2012

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