Cahill And Vieri Named In Socceroos Squad
Coach Frank Farina today announced his 22-man Socceroo squad to face South Africa (Bafana Bafana) in London, England on Tuesday 30 March. Farina has given debut call-ups to Tim Cahill and Max Vieri.
Coach Frank Farina today announced his 22-man Socceroo squad to face South Africa (Bafana Bafana) in London, England on Tuesday 30 March. The match is due to be played at 8pm, London time, at the Loftus Road stadium - the current home ground of Fulham & Queens Park Rangers.
Farina has named a full-strength squad for the international clash, with Italian Serie B player Massimiliano (Max) Vieri - who scored the winning goal in Napoli's 2-1 win over Torino on Sunday -gaining a senior team call-up in an expanded 22-man playing squad. Max Vieri is the younger brother of Inter Milan (Italy) superstar Christian Vieri and has been invited into the Socceroo squad by coach Frank Farina. Millwall's Tim Cahill (pictured) gets his first official call up to the Socceroos squad since FIFA deemed him eligible to play for Australia in January. Cahill, who has been in sensational form for Millwall in the past month, couldn't play for Australia after representing Western Samoa as a 14 year old nearly 10 years ago. He joined up with the Socceroos as an unofficial squad member when Australia played the Republic of Ireland last August in Dublin. Paul Okon also returns to the squad after missing the Venezuela game following his recent transfer to Belgium club Oostende.
The complete 22-man squad is: -
AGOSTINO Paul - TSV 1860 Munchen GERMANY ALOISI John - Athletico Osasuna SPAIN BRESCIANO Marco - Parma ITALY CAHILL Tim - Millwall ENGLAND CHIPPERFIELD Scott - FC Basel SWITZERLAND EMERTON Brett - Blackburn Rovers ENGLAND KALAC Zeljko (gk) - Perugia ITALY KEWELL Harry - Liverpool FC ENGLAND LAYBUTT Steve - Royal Excelsior Mouscron BELGIUM LAZARIDIS Stan - Birmingham City ENGLAND MOORE Craig - Rangers SCOTLAND MUSCAT Kevin - Millwall ENGLAND NEILL Lucas - Blackburn Rovers ENGLAND OKON Paul - KV Oostende BELGIUM POPOVIC Tony - Crystal Palace ENGLAND SCHWARZER Mark (gk) - Middlesbrough ENGLAND SKOKO Josip - Genclerbirligi TURKEY STERJOVSKI Mile - Lille FRANCE VIDMAR Tony - Cardiff City WALES VIERI Max - Napoli ITALY VIDUKA Mark - Leeds United ENGLAND ZDRILIC David - Aberdeen SCOTLAND
Profiles of the players are available on the Australian Soccer Association website, click on National Teams, then Socceroos, then from the 'Select Other Information' drop-box choose player profiles. www.australiansoccer.com.au
Asked about the inclusion of Cahill and Vieri, Farina said “Obviously both are players we-ve been looking at for a while. “Max Vieri, I actually approached him two years ago and unfortunately we couldn-t get anything going at that time, but it is good to have him in. He is technically a very good player and he-ll come in and we-ll have a look at him. “Timmy Cahill, its- been four and half years that we-ve been trying to rectify his situation and its finally happened. He is very happy, keen as mustard and looking forward to getting into camp.” Australia has played South Africa on 23 previous occasions, including 17 matches at senior level with the Socceroos winning 5 times, 1 draw and 11 wins to the Bafana Bafana. The last match against South Africa was on 18 September 1996 in Johannesburg, with the Bafana Bafana winning 2-0.
The Australia line-up that day was: - Zeljko Kalac, Andrew Marth, Robbie Hooker, Milan Ivanovic, Tony Popovic (red card 28'), Alex Tobin (Capt), Craig Foster (Warren Spink 70'), Milan Blagojevic (Sean Cranney 62'), Damian Mori, Ernie Tapai (Alistair Edwards 68'), Paul Trimboli.
Australia has fared better at youth level (Under-23 & Under-20) having played South Africa 6 times, winning 4 times with 1 draw and 1 loss.
South Africa is currently ranked 39 in the FIFA World Ranking system, while Australia-s ranking is 85.
ASA has been working extensively to coordinate a very vibrant international match calendar for 2004 for the Socceroos, with the Green and Gold scheduled to appear in at least 13 matches this year, including a two match home test series against Turkey in Sydney on 21 May and Melbourne 24 May. All Socceroo matches will be played on the approved FIFA international match dates (calendar available on www.fifa.com), or click on the following link: - http://images.fifa.com/calendar/calendar_2004_2008_E.pdf
The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has also confirmed the dates for the 2004 OFC Nations Cup, which will be held in Australia (city and venue TBC) during 28 May - 8 June. The tournament will group the top two Oceania seeds (Australia and New Zealand) with the top 4 island nation qualifiers from the OFC Preliminary Tournament. From the ensuing round robin matches in the May/June Nations Cup tournament, the top two teams in the OFC Nations Cup will then play-off in October 2004 in an home-and-away play-off to determine the OFC Nations Cup winner and the resultant AFC/OFC Challenge Cup representative and 2005 FIFA Confederation Cup (OFC) representative. The same top two teams will then contest the OFC World Cup qualifying play-off in another home-and-away series in September 2005, with the winner to play the fifth-placed South American team for the right to play in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. To view Australia-s National Team programme, click on the following link: http://www.australiansoccer.com.au/public/Event/list.asp?EventTypeID=16&menuItemID=348
ASA would like to acknowledge the continued support of The Football Association (The FA, England) for their approval of the scheduled match in London during the FIFA international match week.
MATCH TICKET DETAILS: - Loftus Road Stadium, home to Queen-s Park Rangers (QPR) and Fulham in West London, will play host to this game and tickets for the match are on sale on QPR-s ticket line, (+44) 0870 112 1967*, or through the website, www.soccerooslondon.com , with prices ranging from £12 to £28. Hospitality packages will also be available for those who want to watch in style.
TV BROADCAST CONFIRMATION: - Socceroos again on SBS Television The upcoming international match between the Socceroos and South Africa will be broadcast LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on SBS Television.
In their second international for 2004, the SOCCEROOS will take on SOUTH AFRICA at Loftus Road Stadium in London. The match will be broadcast LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on SBS on Wednesday 31st March from 4.30am AET.* The match will feature commentary by internationally renowned Gary Bloom; and will be hosted from SBS- Sydney studios by SBS Head of Sport LES MURRAY, former Socceroo captain JOHNNY WARREN and CRAIG FOSTER.