Neill to miss Qatar clash
Socceroos defender Lucas Neill will miss Australia's World Cup qualifier against Qatar and head straight to Sydney for the final match against China on June 22.
Dubai: Socceroos defender Lucas Neill will miss Australia's World Cup qualifier against Qatar and head straight to Sydney for the final match against China on June 22.
Neill has not played in any of the qualifiers during ‘Super June-, due to his partner Lindsay giving birth to twins last week.
It was expected he would come into camp yesterday, but coach Pim Verbeek has opted to keep the same backline for Qatar, who will be fully acclimatised for the extreme conditions expected in Doha.
It continues the merry-go-round involving several players, whose partners are either having or have had babies during these qualifiers, with Josh Kennedy-s brief stint with the team ending yesterday, as he flew back to be with his partner Jacinta, who is due in the week or so.
Verbeek will also make a decision on whether to keep suspended midfielder Vince Grella here for the rest of the trip in the Middle East, or send him back early to prepare for the clash with China at Sydney-s ANZ Stadium.
At a light recovery session yesterday, the main group worked lightly, with Jason Culina and Carl Valeri the only players appearing to have slight knocks and training away from main group, but they should be fine for next week-s match. Both will be key players especially with the absence of Grella from the heart of the midfield.