Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Sarota's delight for club and country, Neill out to prove former club wrong and the VPL gets a grand date
Adam Sarota has put his recall by Australia coach Holger Osieck down to his increased game time at club level with Eredivisie outfit FC Utrecht. Sarota, who has two caps to his name, had not made a Socceroos squad since February's AFC World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia. But four starts from as many games for Utrecht has Sarota, 23, back in the squad for Thursday's friendly with Lebanon and the subsequent qualifier with Jordan five days later. "It's fantastic, I came back at the start of the season and the trainer said that I have to put in a good pre-season and train well and I tried to do that," Sarota said from Beirut of his upturn in club fortunes, having had to wait patiently for opportunities since joining from Brisbane Roar in 2010. "I guess my pre-season was alright, it was a bit of a surprise for me to start the first game and I've been starting ever since, so I'm a bit happy at the moment. I feel good, it took my time to get used to the football, their style of play; being there for two years now has really helped my football get better."
Lucas Neill has admitted his surprise at his release from former club Al Jazira, but is now focused on impressing for United Arab Emirates Pro-League rivals Al Wasl in season 2012-13. The Socceroos captain played a prominent role in the 2011-12 campaign at Al Jazira before the club elected to release him at season's end, with the 34-year-old then joining Al Wasl in August. "Leaving Jazira was a strange one," Neill told The Gulf News. "I genuinely felt I had given my all for the team, but the management decided they wanted to fill the Asian spot with a midfielder. That's football and I respect them for that. So now I focus my energy on a successful year with Al Wasl and look forward to playing my old teammates, and hopefully getting the better of them."
The Victorian Premier League will stage the final of the 2012 season after Melbourne Heart's Week 2 A-League match against the Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on October 14. The unique double-header will kick off with the season 2012-13 A-League match at 5.30pm local time, with the VPL decider to be played directly after. "It's a fantastic opportunity for both parties to work closely together to showcase our club's first home match and the VPL grand final," Heart chief executive officer Munn said. "With excitement already building around the new season, it will be the perfect opportunity for us to kick-off our home form with a bang and the VPL to conclude in front of a large audience. Hopefully both matches will attract great interest, large crowds and demonstrate passionate support of both the national and local competitions."