Aquilina and Natta selected for Australia U23s

Newcastle Jets duo Thomas Aquilina and Mark Natta have been selected for the Australian U23’s Training camp to be held in Italy later this month.

Lucas Mauragis who is currently on loan at the Wellington Phoenix has also been selected.

The Australian U-23 men’s national football team commence their Paris 2024 Olympics qualification preparations this month when a highly talented 24-player squad assembles for a European training camp to take place during the upcoming FIFA men’s International window from 20 – 28 March.

Comprising of fifteen footballers from the Isuzu UTE A-League Men competition and nine overseas-based players, this is Tony Vidmar’s first squad since being appointed Subway Olyroos’ Head Coach, with the camp to be held at the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre located in Gavirate, Varese in Northern Italy.

The Subway Olyroos have an important seven months ahead, with the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024Ô Qualifiers scheduled for 4 – 12 September 2023, and if the team progresses, the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024Ô in early 2024 (dates to be confirmed by AFC) which double as Paris 2024 Olympics qualifiers.

“We have selected an exciting squad of 24-players for this camp in Italy, which is reward for their strong performances in the A-League Men’s competition and their respective club sides overseas,” explained Vidmar.

“As a squad, we only have a small window of time to prepare for our AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers, with this camp being one of only two we will have prior to September. So, this time at the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre will be an important opportunity for the players we’ve not seen for some time to impress the coaching staff for future selection,” said Vidmar.

As part of the nine-day camp, the Subway Olyroos will play two friendly matches against quality opposition in the form of the Switzerland U-21 national team in Bellinzona, Switzerland on Friday, 24 March (7.00pm local time) and Serie B outfit, Como 1907 (venue TBC) on Monday, 27 March (3.00pm local).

“Holding this camp in Europe has provided us with the opportunity to organise two matches against top-level competition, which we need when you consider it’s almost nine months since the Olyroos last played together,” said Vidmar.

“Being able to give all players the chance to test themselves against quality teams is important leading into the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers in September and the AFC U-23 Asian Cup early next year, which double as Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifiers,” concluded Vidmar.

The Subway Olyroos will come together again from 2 – 18 June, when they contest the Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 in Aix-en-Provence, France. This event features twelve U-23 national men’s teams from five Confederations, where it’s expected that Australia will play at least four matches across the 16-days, providing ideal tournament preparation ahead of the September qualifiers.

The draw for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024Ô qualifiers is set to take place in May.

Thomas Aquilina in action for the Jets



AQUILINA, Thomas Defender Newcastle Jets FC Mount Annan Mustangs FC (Football NSW)

BILOKAPIC, Nicholas Goalkeeper Huddersfield Town AFC, England Sydney United 58 FC (Football NSW)

BOTIC, Noah Forward Western United FC Hurstville ZFC (Football NSW)

BROOK, Lachlan Forward Crew Alexandra FC, England Gawler Eagles FC (Football South Australia)

COOK, Cameron Goalkeeper Perth Glory FC Vikings FC (Football Northern Territory)

COURTNEY-PERKINS, Jordan Defender Brisbane Roar FC Newmarket SFC (Football Queensland)

D’ARRIGO, Louis Midfielder Adelaide United FC West Torrens Birkalla SC (Football South Australia)

FARRELL, Jacob Defender Central Coast Mariners FC Wyoming FC (Football NSW)

FRANCOIS, Marlee Midfielder Bristol City FC (Youth), England Camden Tigers FC (Football NSW)

HARRISON, Jordan Midfielder Watford FC (Youth), England Manchester City FC (England)

HOLLMAN, Jake Midfielder Macarthur FC Seaforth FC (Football NSW)

ITALIANO, Jacob Forward Borussia Monchengladbach II, Germany Inglewood United FC (Football West)

JELACIC, Keegan Midfielder Perth Glory FC Coomera Colts SC (Football Queensland)

KUOL, Alou Forward VfB Stuttgart, Germany Shepparton SC (Football Victoria)

MAURAGIS, Lucas Defender Wellington Phoenix (on loan from Newcastle Jets) FC Merimbula Grasshoppers FC (Football NSW)

NATTA, Mark Defender Newcastle Jets FC Sutherland Sharks FC (Football NSW)

NIEUWENHOF, Calem Midfielder Western Sydney Wanderers FC Curl Curl FC (Football NSW)

PEUPION, Cameron Forward Brighton Hove & Albion FC (Youth), England Wakehurst FC (Football NSW)

POPOVIC, Alexandar Defender Adelaide United FC Adelaide Comets FC (Football South Australia)

SHALAMANOV-TRENKOVA, Ilia Goalkeeper PFC CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria PFC Belasitsa Petrich (Bulgaria)

TALBOT, Callum Defender Melbourne City FC Gymea United FC (Football NSW)

TREWIN, Kai Defender Brisbane Roar FC Gunghalin United FC (Capital Football)

VELUPILLAY, Nishan Forward Melbourne Victory FC Endeavour United SC (Football Victoria)

YAZBEK, Patrick Midfielder Viking FK, Norway Austral Soccer Club (Football NSW)