Are Australian juniors 'good enough' for Asia?

Football Federation Australia's under-17 squad today plays the country's first representative game in an Asian Football Confederation tournament, after joining the AFC officially on 1 January 2006. The 'Joeys' will compete in the first stage of 2007 world championship qualification, playing Laos today and Indonesia on Thursday in a five-day round-robin.

Coach Ange Postecoglou knows Australia's under-age teams face a more difficult battle to qualify for major tournaments through Asia than the Oceania Football Confederation, but is relishing the challenge of coaching the first Australian team to tackle Asian competition.

"In the past we've had a dream run through Oceania and in all honesty, we've qualified for world championships when we haven't been good enough," he told Guy Hand of the Daily Telegraph.