Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Coach says Kewell, Cahill ready for Asian Cup

AFP , SYDNEY

English Premier League stars Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill are ready to be unleashed at next month's Asian Cup, Australian coach Graham Arnold said yesterday.

The recovering Merseyside duo will head into the Australian team's training camp in Singapore next week ahead of the Socceroos' July 8 Asian Cup opener against Oman in Bangkok, Arnold said.

Arnold said he spoke with Kewell this week and the Liverpool midfielder was keen to play for his country after overcoming foot and groin problems which have plagued him since last year's World Cup in Germany.

"He's fit, he's ready to go, he can't wait to get into camp in Singapore," Arnold told reporters.

"Everything was very positive. We're in contact with Liverpool all the time about his fitness levels and how we handle the initial part of [his comeback]."

output

Arnold wants to use Kewell behind striker Mark Viduka in a tandem strike force at the Asian Cup to improve the Socceroos' goalscoring output.

Cahill, who missed the last two months of the English Premier League season after breaking a bone in his foot, is also on target to play against Oman.

The attacking Everton midfielder has been recuperating in Sydney, and Arnold confirmed he was progressing well.

"Timmy is running, he's on course to be training fully in Singapore, but I'd say the Singapore game [on June 30] is too early for him," Arnold said.

The Australians are scheduled to arrive in Singapore next Thursday to acclimatize to the hot, humid conditions they will experience in Bangkok for their Asian Cup pool games against Oman, Iraq and Thailand.

Striker John Aloisi is likely to be excused for the first few days of the training camp after only completing his Spanish club commitments with Alaves this weekend.

no break

"He has his last competition game this Sunday for Alaves and he hasn't had a break at all," Arnold said.

"I might give him an extra week before he comes in to freshen him up."

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