Farina Springs Several Surprises For Turkey
Qantas Socceroo coach Frank Farina has sprung a few little surprises when naming his side to take on Turkey at Aussie Stadium tomorrow night, although there was no surprise when ASA CEO John O’Neill announced keeper Mark Schwarzer as captain.
Qantas Socceroo coach Frank Farina has sprung a few little surprises when naming his side to take on Turkey at Aussie Stadium tomorrow night, although there was no surprise when ASA CEO John O-Neill announced keeper Mark Schwarzer (pictured right) as captain. While keeping tight-lipped on what his formation would be used, Farina named just one recognised striker - Aberdeen-s David Zdrilic - in the line-up that included former Carlton teammates Vince Grella and Simon Colosimo in the starting side. The Socceroos starting eleven is: Mark Schwarzer (gk & capt), Simon Colosimo, Tony Vidmar, Stephen Laybutt, Stan Lazaridis, Vince Grella, Mark Bresciano, Josip Skoko, Scott Chipperfield, Brett Emerton & David Zdrilic. In naming that starting eleven, Farina was asked whether that meant that Blackburn Rovers Brett Emerton would play up front as the second striker, Farina responded in typical quiz like fashion, “I don-t know, what do you reckon.” While Farina was giving nothing away as to where Emerton would start the game, he made no secret of why Grella was called up to the starting eleven for the first time. “It-s no secret, I-ve said during the week that where we were opened up (against South Africa) or gave opportunities away, was where we didn-t have that anchor in the middle of the park. “The way we are going to play is most likely a little bit different to what we have in the past and something we will try out. But we will be very offensive once we are in possession of the ball and we-ve got to get forward whether it Zdrilic, Emerton, Chipperfield, Skoko and Bresciano.” Despite a number of players out through club commitments or injury, Farina has still named a fairly experienced line-up, with Grella the only player to have less than 10 internationals for the Socceroos. While the midfield looks stable and very strong, it-s at the back where most interest is concerned with four highly experienced and first choice players missing for one reason or the another. However while Stan Lazaridis will line up in his customary left full back role, the Socceroos most experienced player Tony Vidmar will slot into the centre of defence alongside Stephen Laybutt, while Simon Colosimo-s versatility has been duly noted and he wins a spot at right fullback. Colosimo-s inclusion at right back may surprise some but not Farina. “He-s played right back for me before, on probably 2 or 3 occasions. “He-s a smart player, a good player, he-s quick, reads the game well and he-ll slot into right back with no problems whatsoever.” As for the centre of defence, the Vidmar and Laybutt combination is not new a one, with the pair lining up against Jamaica in last September, where Australia won 2-1. While Vidmar has played mainly on the left for the Socceroos, he has played all season at the heart of Cardiff-s defence and he won all the major awards for his club, so his form coming in very sound. Meanwhile Schwarzer has been given the captain-s armband for the first time, taking over from the injured Craig Moore, who is in camp with the team. “It-s a great honour, I-m really excited about it and really looking forward to the game,” Schwarzer said. “I have been captain before for my club side (Middlesbrough), so it-s not as if it-s a brand new experience for me, but to captain the national team is something you mostly only dream about.” Schwarzer also dismissed the notion that the Socceroos are there for the taking because of the absence of a few players. “I think it is always a case when you don-t have the big name players in the squad, the other players all of sudden they get a chance. They are out of the shadow and have the opportunity to prove what good players they are. It gives you a great lift. “Also it-s not a case of we need 11-15 players to get us to the World Cup, we need a big squad of players of say 25-30 players, we need players that do have experiences. “If it comes down to the crunch games and all of a sudden you-ve got a few injuries and these players are having to make appearances in these vital games and they don-t have the experience it-s obviously a lot harder for them. “If they can gain these vital experiences along the way, it-s going to ideal for all of us,” Schwarzer added.