Aussies looking to show U20 World Cup tournament experience.
FIFA U20 World Cup
29 July - 20 August 2011
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Samuel Philip Steinbock
Australia has an impressive record at the FIFA U-20 World Cup with their failure to qualify for Canada 2007 their only absence from the competition in over two decades, with back-to-back semi-finals and then a quarter-final finish.
Mark Bosnich, Paul Okon, Craig Moore and Mark Viduka were all a part of the 1995 squad, where they were beaten 2-1 by Portugal in the Final after extra-time.
The 1990s was the Young Socceroos' most successful period and this current crop of youngsters are the most experienced to don the green and gold at this level in a number of years. Up to six players that featured in the Egypt 2009 squad could find themselves again chasing FIFA U-20 World Cup glory. It is a far cry from previous tournaments, in which only one or two players featured in successive campaigns.
Many of the current side also enjoy regular first-team football in the Australian A-League - again an improvement on previous generations.
South America is the part of the world where Australia made their breakthrough showing at a FIFA tournament. Mexico 1983 saw Australia open the tournament against the hosts in front of over 100,000 spectators at the Azteca, earning a creditable 1-1 draw in the process.
They then went one better against a superior Scotland side boasting Pat Nevin and Brian McClair in the side. Winning the game 2-1, they then went on to lose South Korea and failed to qualify past the group stage.
It is Coach Jan Versleijen's second FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign and he has instilled an element of Dutch flair into the team's style of play, giving the side a technical ability across the park and pace to burn with wide-men Tommy Oar and Matthew Leckie.