Victory youth spring into national squads


Four of Melbourne Victory’s brightest young talents could get a taste of international football this year after being selected in their respective national squads.

Zaydan Bello and Birkan Kirdar were selected in the Joeys 30-player training camp squad that convened in Canberra last week ahead of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Brazil, while fellow talented teenager George Karvounis was today selected as part of the final 23-player squad for the AFF Under-15 Championships in Chonburi, Thailand.

Jacob Maniti has also been included in the Philippines Under-18 Football Team that will compete in the ASEAN Football Federation Under-18 Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in mid-August.

Prior to this, Maniti will train with the squad at the PFF National Training Centre in the Philippines.

Bello and Kirdar will be vying for final selection in the Joeys Under-17 World Cup squad at the AIS in Canberra ahead of the main event in Brazil from October 26 – November 17.

This squad will have another overseas tour inclusive of friendly matches prior to this year’s World Cup, and will also have a pre-FIFA Under-17 World Cup training camp in South America prior to kick-off in the tournament.

Following a pre-departure camp in Sydney, Karvounis could have his first taste of international football when the Joeys face Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei in the group stages of the Under-15 Championships from July 27 – August 9.

The four selections from Melbourne Victory’s youth squads highlights the success of the Melbourne Victory Academy Pathway, which prepares players for elite level football beginning at an Under-9s level.

Melbourne Victory congratulates Bello, Kirdar, Karvounis and Maniti on their selections and wishes them the best of luck in their respective squads.