Mark Viduka has been left out of Australia’s preliminary squad for the World Cup qualifier against Qatar next month.
Mark Viduka – played 43 times for Australia since 1994
New Australian coach Pim Verbeek has named 39 players, which will be whittled down before the game on 6th February.
Mark Viduka is thinking of retiring from the international scene, and may well have told Verbeek to leave him out of the squad. Certainly Mark has suffered this season from his efforts in the Asia Cup last summer, and his poor injury record shows no sign of improving, as he has only appeared 17 times for Newcastle United this season.
Australian coach Verbeek said today:
“I have deliberately kept the squad big to give us maximum flexibility until match day,”
“I have been very pleased with the way the local players have responded to what we’re trying to do in the recent training camps we’ve had.
“I want to give them every opportunity to state their claim to be part of the final 18-man squad which must be named on match day.”
We think itâ€™s in Markâ€™s best interests to now concentrate on his Newcastle career and have 2-3 good years of club football to finish off his career. Traveling all over to play for Australia gets a lot more difficult, the older you get.
Mark is now 32 years old and has played 43 times for his country scoring 11 goals, so he’s given his country good service over the years having also played 18 times for the Under-23s (17 goals) and 24 times (32 goals) for the Under-20s.
Comments always welcome.