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Olyroos relying on A-League stars to beat N.Z.

The newly independent A-League has contributed all but one of the 24 players selected for Australia's upcoming under-23 internationals against New Zealand.

The matches in Wollongong on Sept. 6 and Campbelltown on Sept. 9 are vital ahead of the Olyroos' Olympic Games qualification tournament in Thailand in January.

Australia haven't featured at an Olympic men's soccer tournament since the Beijing Games in 2008 and the cooperation of A-League clubs in making players available will be crucial to the Olyroos' hopes.

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Of those selected to face New Zealand, five are from Melbourne City including Connor Metcalfe, who is one of two players set to make their under-23 debut if they get on the pitch along with Western Sydney's Tate Russell.

A-League expansion club Western United along with Adelaide United and the Wanderers all have three players selected.

The only overseas-based player in the squad is Socceroo Alex Gersbach, who has been allowed to travel by Danish Superliga club AGF.

Connor Metcalfe
Connor Metcalfe leads a five-strong Melbourne City contingent that his been picked for the Olyroos.

The team will be overseen for the two matches by Young Socceroos coach Gary van Egmond in place of Socceroos coach Graham Arnold, who will take over the reins for the qualifying tournament in January.

To earn a spot at Tokyo 2020, Australia will have to be one of the top three teams at the Asian under-23 championship with host nation Japan already qualified.

Full Olyroos squad:

Goalkeepers: Tom GloverTom Heward-BelleDaniel Margush

Defenders: Thomas Deng, Alex Gersbach, Tass MourdoukoutasConnor O'TooleKye Rowles, Tate Russell, Ivan Vujica

Midfielders: Nathaniel AtkinsonKeanu BaccusDaniel De SilvaDenis GenreauRiley McGree, Connor Metcalfe, Aiden O'NeillSebastian PasqualiLachlan Wales

Forwards: George BlackwoodLachlan BrookNick D'AgostinoApostolos StamatelopoulosBrandon Wilson

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