Glory trio selected for Socceroos
Perth Glory trio Mile Sterjovski, Jacob Burns and goalkeeper Tando Velaphi have been selected in the Qantas Socceroo squad for the national team’s AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait to be played in Kuwait on January 6.
Perth Glory trio Mile Sterjovski, Jacob Burns and goalkeeper Tando Velaphi have been selected in the Qantas Socceroo squad for the national team-s AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait to be played in Kuwait on January 6.
While Sterjovski will make his 41st international appearance and Burns his 10th, Velaphi is one of three Hyundai A-League players named for the first time Pim Verbeek-s 23 man squad.
The young ‘keeper said he wasn-t expecting the call up but is thrilled to be recognised at the elite level.
“It came as a pleasant surprise to make the national team.
“I just focus on my performances at Glory and try to improve so to get an opportunity like this is really exciting and encouraging.
“It-s going to be a pretty big game so it-s nice to be involved in the camps and to be amongst the national set up again,” the 23 year-old said.
Velaphi, who was a member of Australia's under-23 squad at the Beijing Olympics last year, says he is looking forward to returning to national duties.
“After the Olympics, it was the next step for me to be involved with the senior team and to gain that experience.
“It-s something I have been working towards and even though it-s quite unexpected it-s really good to get back into it,” Velaphi said.
Fifteen Hyundai A-league players including Archie Thompson, Jason Culina and Alex Brosque were named in the squad, while former Perth Glory player Nikita Rukavytsya was one of eight international players selected.
“With a lot of the Hyundai A-League players coming in I think it-s going to be a tight-knit squad. It-s really important to have that kind of camaraderie, especially in an international team.”
The squad will start assembling for a week-long training camp in Dubai from December 27 ahead of the Kuwait match.