Friday, June 22, 2007

Australia's Asian Cup stars meet Singaporean fans

Arriving in Singapore to train for two weeks in the lead up to the Asian Cup, Australia's Socceroos quickly took time out to coach young players at a clinic conducted by the Football Association of Singapore. Among them were two of the Australian stars Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer, who also play in the English Premier League. The Singapore Lions will play against the Socceroos in a friendly next Saturday 30 June, as part of the National Stadium's closing celebrations. This marks Australia's entry into the AFC Asian Cup 2007, where they will take on Oman, Iraq and Thailand in Bangkok next month.

"It's new to us but it's a challenge that we're all looking forward to, because it's nice to actually go into a tournament having the respect already of your opponents," Schwarzer told Jacqueline Seng of Channel NewsAsia. "Whereas previously when we're going to other big tournaments, people see us as a team that should be brushed aside quite easily. And I think our performances at the last World Cup proved that you can't underestimate us. I'm not sure if we're outright favourites, but I think we're rightly one of the favourites. And I think that any one of the couple of teams can win the tournaments. I'm looking forward to that, as are the rest of the players in this squad."

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