Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Emerton as Socceroo skipper in Hong Kong
By Angela Habashy
Brett Emerton will captain a 20-man Socceroos squad when Australia travel to Hong Kong for next week's East Asian Cup qualifying tournament.Eight players are in line to debut for the Socceroos at the tournament.China-based defender Dino Djulbic and A-League players Terry Antonis, Ivan Franjic, Michael Marrone, Aaron Mooy, Mat Ryan, Matt Smith and Adam Taggart could all play their first senior internationals after making the cut when coach Holger Osieck trimmed his squad on Thursday ahead of their departure on Friday.Ben Halloran and Osama Malik missed out while Dario Vidosic, Rostyn Griffiths and Luke Wilkshire were all ruled out through injury after being included in the provisional squad last week.But while lauding the young talent, Osieck also reiterated the importance of senior players like Emerton and Archie Thompson in what is a transitional phase for the Socceroos."You cannot have a radical change to the young age group. They still need some time and it's obvious," he said."Still some of the experienced guys in the group will play a leading role and that's what I asked from them."Because when you make the transition from one generation to the next it's not a clear cut ... so to make it happen the ones who have been around for quite some time are in a position to help the upcoming boys."Osieck said Sydney FC midfielder Emerton, who has 92 caps under his belt, was the obvious choice as skipper."It can't be a secret when you have the most capped person in that squad and the second most capped person in Socceroos history that this person will lead the crew, that's for sure."The Socceroos kick off their campaign against hosts Hong Kong on Monday before taking on North Korea, Guam and Taiwan.Socceroos squad: Terry Antonis (Sydney FC), Eli Babalj (Crvena Zvezda Beograd, Serbia), Aziz Behich (Melbourne Heart), Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons, South Korea), Dino Djulbic (Guizhou Renhe, China), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Brett Emerton (Sydney FC), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), Richard Garcia (Melbourne Heart), Scott Jamieson (Perth Glory), Michael Marrone (Melbourne Heart), Matt McKay (Busan I Park, South Korea), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney Wanderers), Tom Rogic (Central Coast Mariners), Mat Ryan (Central Coast Mariners), Matt Smith (Brisbane Roar), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Michael Thwaite (Perth Glory).