Club vs country battle for Socceroos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Club vs country battle for Socceroos

By Simon King 11/02/2004 07:02:45 PM Comments (0)

Socceroo coach Frank Farina may have selected all the big names for next week's match against Venezuela but there's still a question mark over who will actually turn up.

Farina has named strikers Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka in his 20-man squad to play in Caracas next Wednesday but with crunch matches in the English Premier League, the pair's participation is still in doubt.

There is also some speculation over the availability of Birmingham left back Stan Lazaridis and Blackburn's Brett Emerton and Lucas Neill with the players' respective club managers known to be unhappy about their release.

With the Australian Soccer Association (ASA) yet to receive confirmation from clubs that players will be made available another battle looms between clubs and country.

It will also be a test of resolve for the Frank Lowy-led ASA which has promised to take a more hardline stance against players who don't make themselves available for Australia.

Farina said a clear picture of which clubs the ASA will need to do battle with wouldn't emerge until after this weekend's round of European fixtures.

"It's the same every time, you can't guess on anything until the weekend games are over," he said.

But Farina said foreign managers, who often first spot Australian players in the national side, have to realise those players will have country commitments.

"It's bit harsh for them (managers) to then turn around and say we don't want you to go," he said.

Under new regulations the ASA handles all negotiations between the players and the clubs but Farina said players are still affected.

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