Young Adelaide United striker Francesco Monterosso’s exceptional season in the National Youth League has seen him gain selection in the Qantas Young Socceroos (U/20) squad for a four match tour of South America.
Monterosso’s inclusion in Qantas Young Socceroos Head Coach Jan Versleijen’s 20 player squad is his first call up in the green and gold, his selection just reward after he led the goal scoring charts for the second year running in the National Youth League.
The unassuming striker, who turns 19 on Friday, netted 17 goals in the 2009/10 National Youth League Season after playing the majority of the year with United’s Youth side, while he made five Hyundai A-League appearances off the bench in his first season on the Reds’ senior roster.
A former South Australian Sports Institute product, Monterosso admits he did not expect the call up as he juggles his football commitments with studying for a university degree.
“Not really to be honest,” Monterosso replied on if he had thought about being selected.
“There are a lot of good players out there, but in saying that it shows that if you persevere and work hard eventually it does pay off.”
“I got the phone call at uni just before I was about to go into a lecture. It was pretty surreal, I was in awe for a bit but I’m just glad to be part of the team.”
Monterosso will meet up with the rest of the squad in Sydney on Saturday before jetting off to play two matches against the Paraguay U-20 National team and two against the Argentinean U-20 National Team.
“I’m not too sure what to expect, I’m just going to go there with an open mind and I’m really looking forward to it,” Monterosso said.
The tour is part of the squad’s preparations for the AFC U-19 Championship 2010 which will be held from 3-17 October in China PR.
The Qantas Young Socceroos will return to Australia on April 19.
Qantas Young Socceroos Squad List
Paraguay and Argentina Tour
3-19 April 2010
Matthew ACTON (gk) (Brisbane Roar), Mustafa AMINI (Central Coast Mariners), Daniel BOWLES (Brisbane Roar), Kerem BULUT (FK Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic), Chris BUSH (uncontracted), Stephen DOMENICI (uncontracted), Petar FRANJIC (Melbourne Victory), Sam GALLAGHER (Central Coast Mariners), Ben HALLORAN (Gold Coast United), Chris HAROLD (Gold Coast United), Ben KANTAROVSKI (Newcastle Jets), Steven LUSTICA (Gold Coast United), Theo MARKELIS (Valencia, Spain), Francesco MONTEROSSO (Adelaide United), Tom OAR (Brisbane Roar), Alex PEARSON (gk) (Perth Glory), Trent SAINSBURY (Central Coast Mariners), Nikola STANOJEVIC (uncontracted), Kliment TASESKI (Melbourne Heart) and Marc WARREN (Central Coast Mariners)