Aussie goalie accepts international exile

March 29, 2013
By Carl Markham

Liverpool's Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones accepts his international chances may have been hampered by remaining at the prominent English Premier League club.

However, the sometime Socceroo admits he would rather stay at Anfield and provide competition for first-choice Jose Reina than leave and play more matches elsewhere.

The Reds' Melwood training ground has been a quiet place for the past week with many of the squad away at World Cup qualifiers.

But Jones was one of those left behind as the most recent of his three appearances for the Socceroos coming in January 2011, although he was called into the squad in September last year as a replacement for injured Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici.

The 31-year-old knows his role as Reina's deputy is counting against him, although injury to the Spaniard has seen Jones make 15 appearances this season - more than in his previous two seasons combined - and start the last two Premier League matches.

"I have kind of been in and out (of the international team) recently but there is not a lot I can do really, it is up to the manager to pick me," Jones, who signed a new contract at Anfield in December, told Press Association Sport.

"The manager (Holger Osieck) wants people who are playing fairly regularly, which is obviously going to be difficult for me here.

"I have probably played more games than I thought I might have this year but just the way it has worked out it is going to be difficult.

"But on the other side for me it is a tough one because I would probably rather play 15 games for Liverpool than 30 for someone else.

"It is Catch 22 but I think if I am playing for Liverpool and performing then I should be in contention."

The goalkeeper could lose his place in the starting line-up for Sunday's trip to Aston Villa as Reina has been declared fit after joining up with Spain for their World Cup qualifiers, although he was on the bench for both matches.