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AIS-based players to face AC and Inter Milan

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The new group of players is to tour Italy

21 Mar 2014


Football Federation Australia has welcomed the inaugural intake for the new FFA Centre of Excellence with the players’ first challenge a training camp in Italy where they’ll play Inter and AC Milan.

FFA has officially welcomed the inaugural intake of 24 scholars for the new FFA Centre of Excellence which will be based at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.

First on the agenda for the new group of players is a tour to Italy where they will be based at the AIS European Training Centre in Varese and play friendly matches against the youth teams of Parma (26 March), Inter Milan (30 March), AC Milan (2 April) and Varese (4 April).

The players will depart today and return back to Canberra on 8 April to begin their participation in the National Premier Leagues: Capital Football.

Later in the year the team will compete in the Foxtel National Youth League competition alongside the youth teams of the Hyundai A-League clubs. 

Previously the AIS Men’s Football Program was a jointly managed between the AIS and FFA.

Following a restructure, this year the program is now funded by the Australian Sports Commissions’ Winning Edge Strategy and completely administered by FFA.

The FFA appointed Technical and Coaching staff are also responsible for the selection of the players for the program.

The program will continue to be based at the AIS facilities in Canberra. The players, who are aged between 15-16 years of age, from all over Australia live with local Canberra families under a homestay program with all scholars attending UC Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra.

Luke Casserly, FFA Head of National Performance is excited about the new era for the FFA Centre of Excellence.

“We greatly appreciate the support of the Australian Sports Commission for their support of the new FFA Centre of Excellence,” said Casserly

“This program is an important part of FFA’s elite player pathway and a major step towards representing Australia on the world stage,” concluded Casserly.

Peter de Roo, Technical Director of the FFA Centre of Excellence, is equally excited about the revamped program.

“The players have been identified as the best of the best from the FFA National Youth Championship and National Training Centre (NTC) Challenge Tournaments,” said de Roo

“Our main goal of the program is to take these players to the next level of their football development both technically and tactically,” concluded de Roo.

Head Coach of the Joeys Tony Vidmar, who is the senior coach of the FFA Centre of Excellence, is looking forward to prepare these players to compete internationally.

“Everything we do will be geared towards best preparing this group of players to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup via the AFC U-16 Championship,” said Vidmar

“This will be done on and off the field and through regular competitive matches and international tours.

“The better we prepare these players, the better prepared they will be to represent Australia,” concluded Vidmar.

FFA Centre of Excellence Scholars 2014-2015 player list:

(Name - Member Federation)

Daniel ARZANI - NSW

Jackson BANDIERA - NSW

Joe CALETTI - NSW

Nicholas D'AGOSTINO - QLD

Henry DAVIES - NSW

James DELIANOV - VIC

Charlie DEVEREUX - SA

Jamie DIMITROFF - QLD

Duro DRAGICEVIC - QLD

Perry FOTAKOPOULOS - NSW

Cameron JOICE - NNSW

Peter KEKERIS - NSW

Danny KIM - QLD

Daniel MASKIN - NSW

Solomon MONAHAN-VAIIKA - NSW

Brandon OSIPOV - VIC

Nicholas PANETTA - QLD

Kosta PETRATOS - NSW

Jamal REINERS - WA

Kye ROWLES - QLD

Zac SPETH - NSW

* Sourced from FFA media release

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