Reds outcast Dudek dropped by Poles too

May 15, 2006

WARSAW, May 15 (Reuters) - Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek was the biggest name of four shock omissions from Poland's 23-man World Cup squad announced on Monday.

Dudek, whose penalty saves helped Liverpool beat AC Milan in the Champions League final last year, was left out in favour of Legia Warsaw's 21-year old keeper Lukasz Fabianski, who has just two friendly caps to his name.

The 33-year-old has lost his place to Pepe Reina at Liverpool and coach Pawel Janas said his lack of match practice had counted against him.

'Dudek is a very good keeper but he has played very few games and that has acted in favour of those who have been playing at club level,' Janas told Polsat TV.

Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Tomasz Frankowski, the team's top scorer in qualifying, left-back Tomasz Rzasa and centre half and former captain Tomasz Klos were also left out.

Instead, Janas selected Wisla Krakow striker Pawel Brozek, fullback Dariusz Dudka and Cracovia central midfielder Piotr Giza, who have only a handful of friendly caps between them.

'We are all somewhat in shock,' former Celtic and Poland striker Dariusz Dziekanowski told Reuters after the squad was announced. 'It is maybe a good thing that Janas is stamping his authority on the team. At the end of the day, the trainer has to take responsibility and he is certainly taking it.'

Janas still picked most of Poland's starting line-up from the final qualifiers last year, but other commentators said dropping Dudek and Frankowski was a signal to the rest of the squad that no-one's place is guaranteed in June.

'I am not ruling out anything at this point,' Janas told reporters. 'We still have almost four weeks until the first game. This squad has some youth, some experience and hopefully we can make a strong team from it starting now.'

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Artur Boruc (Celtic), Tomasz Kuszczak (West Bromwich Albion), Lukasz Fabianski (Legia Warsaw)

Defenders: Jacek Bak (Al Rayan), Mariusz Jop (FK Moscow), Michal Zewlakow (Anderlecht), Marcin Baszczynski (Wisla Krakow), Seweryn Gancarczyk (Metallist Charkow), Mariusz Lewandowski (Shakhtar Donetsk), Dariusz Dudka (Wisla Krakow)

Midfielders: Jacek Krzynowek (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslaw Szymkowiak (Trabzonspor), Radoslaw Sobolewski (Wisla Krakow), Euzebiusz Smolarek (Borussia Dortmund), Kamil Kosowski (Southampton), Arkadiusz Radomski (Austria Vienna), Sebastian Mila (Austria Vienna), Damian Gorawski (FK Moscow), Piotr Giza (Cracovia).

Forwards: Maciej Zurawski (Celtic), Grzegorz Rasiak (Southampton), Pawel Brozek (Wisla Krakow), Ireneusz Jelen