Chipperfield, Skoko out of Asian Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chipperfield, Skoko out of Asian Cup

By Guy Hand and Cameron Tomarchio 08/06/2007 06:15:21 AM Comments (0)

The Socceroos' Generation Next is set to become Generation Now at the Asian Cup after the withdrawals of experienced defender Scott Chipperfield and midfielder Josip Skoko.

Ahead of the 23-man Socceroos squad being named on Friday, first-choice left-back Chipperfield has pulled out to remain at home with his pregnant wife, who is due to give birth around the time of the tournament.

Skoko has also declared himself unavailable, as well as ruling himself out of the Socceroos' 2010 World Cup campaign as he inches towards international retirement.

Skoko, 31, said his decision to miss the Asian Cup was made primarily to concentrate on club soccer as he hammers out a new contract with his English Premier League side Wigan.

But he admitted his failure to get any game time for the Socceroos at the World Cup last year had influenced his decision.

"Obviously I wouldn't like to go to the Asian Cup and the same thing happen (not playing)," Skoko said.

"That's not the main reason ... but it wasn't my proudest moment not getting a run (at the World Cup). It was very disappointing for me."

Skoko, capped 50 times for his country, said he was keen to play at least once more for the national team before any retirement from international football.

Skoko has earmarked the Socceroos-Argentina clash in Melbourne on September 11 as a match he would love to be involved in, and could well decide to make it his international swansong.

National coach Graham Arnold will name his Asian Cup squad on Friday, with Australia's first group match against Oman on July 8 in Bangkok.

Skoko's unavailability should shore up a spot for young Italian-based midfielder Carl Valeri, who impressed in a holding role in the 2-1 loss to Uruguay in Sydney last weekend.

Chipperfield's absence is likely to mean teenager Matthew Spiranovic is named in the squad, with Polish-based Michael Thwaite set to be given first opportunity to start on the left side of defence against Oman.

Conjecture still remains over several places in the squad, including the third goalkeeper's spot which may go to Olyroo Danny Vukovic.

Also Arnold may decide to take an extra midfielder rather than a forward, with soon-to-be Celtic striker Scott McDonald, Melbourne Victory target man Danny Allsopp and Newcastle Jets attacking midfielder Nick Carle all vying for selection.

Socceroos midfielder Tim Cahill has urged Arnold not to be afraid to round out his squad with A-League players and fringe internationals.

"Danny Allsopp, Nicky Carle, Ryan Griffiths, Michael Beauchamp, Matthew Spiranovic, Brett Holman, Scotty McDonald - all the youngsters are awesome ... this is exactly what we wanted," Cahill said in Sydney.

"Against Uruguay people were saying we were going to struggle with our youngsters. The way I saw it I didn't think so.

"It's really important (to blood youngsters during the Asian Cup) - they need this experience."

Arnold will also put seven players on stand-by in case of injury ahead of the tournament.

Possible Socceroos' Asian Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer, Brad Jones, Danny Vukovic.

Defenders: Lucas Neill, Brett Emerton, Michael Beauchamp, Michael Thwaite, Mark Milligan, Patrick Kisnorbo, Matthew Spiranovic.

Midfielders: Mark Bresciano, Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill, Vince Grella, Mile Sterjovski, Luke Wilkshire, Jason Culina, Carl Valeri, Nick Carle.

Forwards: Mark Viduka, John Aloisi, Archie Thompson, Brett Holman.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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