Verbeek issues warning
Qantas Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has issued a warning to those players wanting to be part of his squad at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa that they must start playing regularly for their clubs or they face not going.
Qantas Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has issued a warning to those players wanting to be part of his squad at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa that they must be playing regularly for their clubs or they face not going.
Verbeek was speaking after naming his squad for the friendly international against Republic of Ireland on August 12 in Limerick, where he named several youngsters, plus recalled several players that have been in the international wilderness for some years.
But Verbeek made it quite clear that unless players are playing regularly, their chances of making the trip to South Africa will be jeopardized.
"I am a little bit worried about those players," Verbeek said when asked about players like David Carney, who is struggling for game time at his club side Sheffield United. "They have to start playing games.
“Players have to play football in the upcoming 10 months that message is clear. They have to be 100% fit for when I make my final selections," he declared.
Asked if was worried by captain Lucas Neill-s situation at the present moment that he is not contracted to any club at the moment, Verbeek was confident his playing future would be sorted soon and is happy to have him in Limerick, whether he plays or not.
"I know Lucas will make a good decision in the upcoming days, weeks. I'll put him in the list in case he makes a final decision very soon. Then he can be with us. “We need some experience in backline, it will be good if he is part of the squad," he said.
As for him starting in the match.
"It depends on how fit he is at that moment. He's training by himself. If he hasn't signed with the club already, he will come to Ireland to be part of the squad.
"It's always good to have Lucas around the team, even if it's just in the rooms and at the hotel for his captaincy and his professional attitude."
No players from the Hyundai A-League were named in the squad, but Verbeek never seriously considered them given the competition was kicking off this weekend and the travel burden wouldn-t be worth it for a friendly game.
"I think it is useless to take the players out of Australia to Ireland. I know how difficult it is to fly back to Europe and then play a game and be one day later back in Australia.
“The A-League is starting, it's a big start. I think the coaches will be happy that I'll be leaving their players in Australia," Verbeek quipped.
The biggest selection surprises were two boys from the current Qantas Young Socceroos squad Oliver Bozanic and Aaron Mooy, plus the inclusion of former Perth Glory speedster Nikita Rukavytsya.
Bozanic has gone on loan to Cheltenham Town, while Mooy plays in the reserves at Bolton Wanderers.
"Mooy is making a big impression at the moment in the under 20s team, I've spoken to (Qantas Young Socceroos coach) Jan Versleijen, he's doing very well over there (Argentina).
"I saw him myself; it's the same with Bozanic, during the tournaments they played in Europe in the summer time.
"So it's an interesting possibility for those guys to be part of the group. They are going to the U20 World Cup in Egypt and I think it-s a great experience for them to be part of the squad. I'm not so sure if they will start, but they can play, they are good. Physically good, technically good," Verbeek said.
Another to get his first call up is former Perth Glory striker Nikita Rukavytsya, who is starting to make an impression at FC Twente since joining them at the start of the year.
“We saw him three times in the last few weeks. We will look to play him as a striker, but he can play in several positions. He looks strong; he looks fresh; he looks good, so why not pick him. It-s a good moment for him.”