I'm ready for 90 minutes, says Kewell - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I'm ready for 90 minutes, says Kewell

By Guy Hand 11/06/2010 01:21:54 PM Comments (0)

Harry Kewell's welcome message for coach Pim Verbeek couldn't be any more clear - he's ready and eager to play 90 minutes in the Socceroos' World Cup opener against Germany.

Kewell has trained sharply and consistently for a week after overcoming the groin problem which has restricted him to less than five minutes of competitive football since January.

With Tim Cahill and Brett Emerton seemingly over their injury niggles, it means there is just one spot up for grabs in the Socceroos' starting 11.

Coach Pim Verbeek must decide whether to start with Josh Kennedy or risk Kewell as his lone striker despite his severe lack of match practice.

"I'm hoping for more than that," Kewell said when asked if he'd be ready to play 30 minutes as an impact player against Germany in Durban on Sunday (0430 Monday AEST).

"The medical staff's happy with how I'm travelling, Pim's very happy with how I'm going.

"I can't make his mind up for him. He's the one that has the final decision on who plays and what happens.

"All I can be is 100 per cent ready, same as any other player."

Kennedy has struggled for impact up front in the three lead-up friendlies - though he did score the winner in the victory over Denmark at Roodepoort.

Kewell's gifts and penchant for the big-stage are well known, and he has proven in the World Cup qualifying campaign he can successfully lead the line.

It would probably be the hugest risk of Verbeek's two-and-a-half year reign to gamble with him to start against a physical and disciplined Germany side capable of bouncing him around like a pinball as he plays a lone hand up front.

But Kewell is convinced not only is he ready for the challenge, so too is the rest of a Socceroos squad which has worked diligently at their tough altitude training camp in preparation to take on one of the tournament favourites.

"We're sharp and we're up for this," Kewell said.

"The players have done the hard work and this (playing) really is the easy part. We're keen to get out and show the world what we can do."

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