Amini misses U-20 World Cup cut

June 4, 2013
By Laine Clark

Cult hero Mustafa Amini was one of the big-name casualties when Young Socceroos coach Paul Okon named his 21-strong squad for next month's under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

The popular ex-Central Coast midfielder with the red afro - now based at German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund - appeared to pay the price for the Young Socceroos' hot and cold results on their recent 12-day European trip.

Amini was part of a preliminary 26-strong squad that was thrashed 3-1 by the Dutch under-20 outfit in the Netherlands before holding on for a 2-2 draw with the German youth team in Cyprus last week.

Okon used the friendlies to run the rule over his options before finalising his squad which features 15 A-League players.

Another notable absentee was West Ham striker Dylan Tombides, 19, who had a liver operation in April and was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011.

However, uncontracted strike weapon Corey Gameiro was picked after overcoming an ankle complaint.

Ex-Fulham striker Gameiro struck six goals in four games to help the Young Socceroos reach the Asian under-19 championship semi-finals last November, earning under-20 World Cup qualification.

It was a timely boost after the Olyroos failed to qualify for the London Olympics and the under-17 Joeys last year bombed in the Asian qualification tournament to miss their World Cup.

"We're a team that can score goals - I expect us to express ourselves in that department," Okon said.

The squad features four overseas players including incumbent captain Curtis Good (Newcastle United).

The Young Socceroos kick-start their campaign against Colombia on June 22 after also being grouped with Turkey and El Salvador.

"We're aiming to get out of the group stages. I'll be disappointed if we don't do that," Okon said.

The squad will gather in Sydney on Friday, play a friendly against New Zealand in Wollongong on Monday and fly out for Turkey the next day.

Young Socceroos squad: Terry Antonis (Sydney FC), Anthony Bouzanis (Sydney FC), Joshua Brillante (Newcastle Jets), Reece Caira (Western Sydney), Connor Chapman (Newcastle Jets), Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory), James Donachie (Brisbane), Jack Duncan (gk, Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (Reading FC, England), Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory), Corey Gameiro (uncontracted), Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory), Curtis Good (Newcastle United, England), Andrew Hoole (Newcastle Jets), Jackson Irvine (Celtic FC, Scotland), Paul Izzo (gk, Adelaide United), Jamie MacLaren (uncontracted), Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), David Vrankovic (Melbourne Heart), Ryan Williams (Fulham FC, England).