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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 19, 2008

Young Australians given the nod for China qualifier

SYDNEY, June 19 (Reuters) - Australia will use their World Cup qualifier against China in Sydney on Sunday as an opportunity for under-23 players to push their claims for Olympics places.

The Socceroos have already advanced to the final round of qualifying in the Asian region for the 2010 tournament in South Africa, and had decided earlier in the week to give less experienced players the chance to push their Beijing claims.

Coach Pim Verbeek named captain Harry Kewell, Jade North, Michael Petkovic, Michael Beauchamp, Carl Valeri and Brett Holman in the initial 14-man squad on Thursday.

The squad will be filled out with under-23 players later in the week.

'It's a chance for the young boys to come through,' Beauchamp told reporters in Sydney. 'These are the future and it's a chance for the Australian public to see what we've got coming through.'

Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, defender David Carney and midfielder Luke Wilkshire are suspended after picking up yellow cards in Doha against Qatar.

China were eliminated after they lost 2-1 to Iraq in Tianjin last week but arrived in Australia with virtually a full-strength squad.

'They've still got pride to prove,' added Beauchamp.

'They're a country of pride, so for us we're not going out their half-heartedly at all.'

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