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Jedinak To Skipper Socceroos

4 March 2014

Eagles captain Mile Jedinak is set to captain Australia for the first time in their friendly against Ecuador at Millwall tonight.

Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has handed Jedinak the armband ahead of the likes of stalwarts Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill as the Aussies continue to build towards this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Jedinak, who has won 42 caps since making his international debut in 2008, is the only player in their 23 man squad currently playing regularly in the Premier League and admits that being named captain is a big moment for him.

He said: "It's probably the hugest, biggest honour you could have as a footballer, captaining your country, and something I definitely won't take lightly."

Postecoglou admitted that Jedinak's growing status in the Premier League saw him get the nod ahead of the other candidates, commenting: "It's a reward for him, he's playing in one of the toughest leagues in the world, captaining his club side and playing well.

"He's an outstanding candidate to lead us tomorrow night. Beyond that Mile is in the same boat as everyone else — he needs to continue to play well and continue to show form."

New York Red Bulls midfielder Cahill also gave his blessing for Mile to lead out Australia at his old stomping ground of The Den, stating: "“It's the right choice because Mile is a great leader and a great footballer. 

"It's the most sensible choice because he'll be playing every game and definitely, in that midfield role, he's someone who will be running the team and driving the team. I am very happy for Mile."

Meanwhile Damien Delaney has withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad to play Serbia tonight with a calf problem, joining Marouane Chamakh (hamstring), Joe Ledley (hip) and Kagisho Dikgacoi (back) in returning to Beckenham for treatment rather than featuring for their countries tonight.

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