Young Socceroos dream of World Cup glory

FOOTBALL 

As Australia prepares for a blockbuster clash with Spain in Brazil, Sydney FC's youth duo Josh MacDonald and Aaron Calver boosted their own World Cup dreams with selection in the Young Socceroos squad.

In what is considered the first step towards the 2015 FIFA under 20 World Cup, the Illawarra pair were included in a 23-man group made up of the best players from the National Youth League competition.

The three-day training camp, starting today, is expected to give coach Paul Okon an opportunity to gain further insight into the nation's rising stars.

"We are going through a process to identify a larger pool of players and that will start with this first group," Okon told the FFA website last week.

"Over the coming months we will be running a number of these camps that will allow me to see the quality of these players.

"This is a great opportunity for these players to come into a national team camp environment and see how they adapt both on and off the field."

Okon will use the camp to establish the top tier talent, in preparation for the AFC under 19 championships in Myanmar next October.

The tournament acts as a qualifying event for the FIFA under 20 World Cup in New Zealand the following year.

MacDonald was a member of the under 19s team that qualified for the Asian competition in October and is aiming to keep his position for the main tournament.

"There is a few new faces in the team from the tour of Malaysia, so I am just hoping to train well myself and stay in the squad.

"It is always good [to train with the Young Socceroos], even for two days. Paul Okon and [Milan Blagojevic] are both good coaches, so any time you spend with them you are learning something.

"It is all to help us build towards the Asian under 19 championships next year and hopefully we can perform well there and make it to the World Cup."

MacDonald came off at half-time for Corey Gameiro during Sunday's youth grade clash at WIN Stadium, but has been a regular fixture on the right side of the Sky Blues attack so far this season.

Calver has been similarly prominent throughout the campaign and has featured on the bench for the first team a number of times this season.

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