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Can unfavoured Young Socceroos cause an upset in the Costa Calida Supercup?

It’s not every day that Australian footballers get to test their skill against the world’s best nations, but the Young Socceroos will do just that as one of the participants of the four-continents U-20 Costa Cálida Supercup in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain.

The 24-man squad will face off against Chile, Morroco and reigning under-19 European champion England between September 21 and 27.

While the A-League players selected are known to most fans, the European-based inclusions are very interesting.

Matt Dench was born in Australia, but has lived in the UK since he was four years old.

Dench has been part of Charlton Athletic’s academy side since 2020 and this season has moved up from the U18s to the U21s.

He made his senior debut only a few weeks ago in the EFL Trophy and is capable of playing as a centre-back, as well as a central midfielder.

Australia fought off strong interest from Malta to bring Dylan Scicluna into this camp.

Melbourne-born Sciluna has played the majority of his football in the midlands of England – first at Aston Villa and then at current club Wolverhampton.

The central midfielder has moved up from the U18s to the U21s and played several matches in the Premier League 2 this season.

(Photo by Alex Goodlett – WWFC/Getty Images)

His younger brother Lucas also plays at Wolves, but in their U18s side.

Kogarah-born Jordan Perez is a player many in youth development had high hopes for.

The diminutive speedster moved to Cyprus after playing in Spain and has been converted from a left-back to a left winger. He scored two goals in pre-season for AEK Lamaca and plays in their under-21 side.

Gabriel Popovic is welcomed back into the Australian football family, after some solid form with table topping Nk Rudeš in the Croatian second division.

He has featured in four of their five matches so far and scored a goal a few weeks back.

The player to watch with the matches being broadcast on Youtube will be Paul Okon Jnr, though.

Okon Jnr recently left Club Brugge to join the best side in European youth football – Benfica.

Okon possess some of the most accurate weighted long-range passing abilities in his age group worldwide, and this was a big factor in why Benfica signed him.

Josh Rawlins has played in six out of the first seven games for the struggling FC Utrecht II.

Mohammed Toure and Yaya Dukuly are playing regular minutes for tables-toppers Stafe Reims II in France.

Adelaide United goalkeeper Steven Hall has also just come back from England where he had trials with Southampton and Newcastle United.

The selected squad also contains five players following in their famous father’s footballing footsteps – Rodrigues, Okon, Oliveria, Vidmar and Popovic.

Two glaring omissions from this squad are the infamous Christian Volpato, and fast-rising Parma prodigy Alessandro Circati.

The Young Socceroos will be seen as cannon fodder for their highly-fancied opponents, but the squad chosen by Trevor Morgan has more than enough talent and ability to cause an upset or two.

Young Socceroos squad for Costa Calida Supercup

Alexander BADOLATO – Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES – Melbourne City FC
Rhys BOZINOVSKI – Western United FC
Matthew DENCH – Charlton Athletic FC (UK)
Chris DONNELL – Perth Glory FC
Yaya DUKULY – Stade de Reims (France)
Joseph FORDE – Perth Glory FC
Archie GOODWIN – Newcastle Jets FC
Steven HALL – Adelaide United FC
Sam KLEIN – Brisbane Roar FC
Alessandro LOPANE – Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI – Perth Glory FC
James NIEUWENHUIZEN – Melbourne City FC
Paul OKON JNR -SL Benfica (Portugal)
Bernardo OLIVEIRA -Adelaide United FC
Jordan PEREZ – AEK Larnaca FC (Cyprus)
Gabriel POPOVIC – Nk Rudeš (Croatia)
Joshua RAWLINS – FC Utrecht (Holland)
Adrian SEGECIC -Sydney FC
Dylan SCICLUNA – Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (UK)
Mohamed TOURE -Stade de Reims (France)
Nectarios TRIANTIS – Central Coast Mariners
Kane VIDMAR – Adelaide United FC
Jack WARSHAWSKY – Western Sydney Wanderers FC

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