Williams omitted from Socceroos squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Williams omitted from Socceroos squad

By Guy Hand 03/06/2010 06:22:59 AM Comments (0)

Socceroos defender Rhys Williams admits he is "heartbroken" after missing World Cup selection that was there for the taking.

Williams was one of five players cut by Australian coach Pim Verbeek on Wednesday as he named his final 23-man World Cup squad - the last of the 32 nations competing to do so.

As expected, young trio Shane Lowry, Tommy Oar and James Holland, and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic were also left out for the tournament later this month.

But unlike the other four, Verbeek said 21-year-old Williams would have been a certain member of his squad had it not been for a pelvic injury which has dogged him for much of the season.

The clearly devastated Middlesbrough defender bravely summoned the courage to front a media conference after the squad was announced.

"I'm heartbroken, but obviously proud to have made the 27 and just to have got this far," Williams said.

"I'm happy with myself - it just wasn't meant to be this year for me.

"I have been struggling for a long time, but the (Socceroos) coaching staff gave me every possible chance to be fit. It obviously just wasn't meant to be.

"I'm looking forward to working out a plan with the physios and looking to the future."

Born in Perth but of Welsh and Indian heritage, Williams played several under-21 matches for Wales before pledging his international future to Australia 18 months ago.

Verbeek said Williams' club Middlesbrough should shoulder blame for making the youngster play through the pain barrier - something the Dutchman says almost certainly cost the versatile player his World Cup dream.

"He trained without confidence - he could never train fully, he's not free to play and his recovery is not quick enough to make it," Verbeek said.

"I'm disappointed he will not be in the final 23.

"(`Boro manager) Gordon Strachan let him play for weeks with an injury. Gordon Strachan let him play with an injection every game. If you do that with a 20-year-old player you take a risk.

"I'm 100 per cent sure if they (Middlesbrough) had given him the normal treatment for a player, he should be in the World Cup."

The 23-man Australian squad for the tournament starting later this month is:

Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer, Adam Federici, Brad Jones.

Defenders: Scott Chipperfield, David Carney, Lucas Neill, Michael Beauchamp, Craig Moore, Mark Milligan, Luke Wilkshire.

Midfielders: Vince Grella, Carl Valeri, Jason Culina, Mile Jedinak, Tim Cahill, Brett Holman, Dario Vidosic, Mark Bresciano, Brett Emerton, Richard Garcia.

Strikers: Nikita Rukavytsya, Josh Kennedy, Harry Kewell.

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