Tuesday, 24 December 2002 12:00 AM
South Melbourne Striker Michael Baird played an integral role in the Australian Under 20 National Team (Young Socceroos) who have qualified for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, after defeating Fiji 4-0 in the 2nd leg of the Oceania World Youth Championship qualifying final at Korman Stadium, Ba, Fiji today.
Michael Baird scored four goals at Bob Jane Stadium last Saturday helping the Young Socceroos to an 11 – 0 drubbing over Fiji. Vince Lia came on as a substitute in the first leg and scored while Massimo Murdocca played a full game in Fiji.
South Melbourne’s young trio will be available for selection this weekend at home against Newcastle.
Coach Ange Postecoglou was understandably more than happy with both the result and performance of his team, “It was a very professional performance today,” said Postecoglou.
“The boys gave 100 per-cent for the full ninety minutes which is a real credit to them considering the lop-sided scoreline and very hot conditions. I’m delighted with the performance.”
The Young Socceroos must now await the official draw on 29 January before knowing the identity of their opponents.
The 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship will be held in four cities in the United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al-Ain and Sharjah – from 25 March to 16 April 2003.