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Rogers: I'll fight to win my Canada shirt back


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[We need to find the Canada gene in Mark's DNA and plant it in some of our less enthusiastic players!!

Truthfully, I hope Mark has a great year and rejoins the squad.]

By Dave Peters

WANDERERS defender Mark Rogers has promised to fight for his international shirt after being left out of Canada's squad for CONCACAF Gold Cup later this month.

The 27-year-old was named in Canada's original 22-man squad for the tournament but was squeezed out when it was trimmed down to 18 this week.

Rogers, who helped his country win the bronze medal at the last Gold Cup, will now have to make do with being on standby for this year's tournament which gets underway in Boston on July 12 with Canada's match against Costa Rica.

He said: "I'm extremely disappointed to be left out. I think I should be in that 18."

Now he plans to show Canada boss Holger Osieck he was wrong to omit him by starring for Wanderers this term and booking a place in the squad for Canada's World Cup qualifiers which start in the spring.

He said: " I'm very proud of my caps and I want to win more of them.

"Winning the bronze medal at the Gold Cup was one of my greatest memories in football and I was desperate to have the chance to do it again.

"I'm very disappointed at being left out because for me it is a massive deal playing for Canada. I have to live with it and get on with it.

"I can't afford to get depressed about it. I would love to play for Canada again and the only way I can do that is by playing well for Wycombe. The only thing that I can control is trying to perform well on Saturday. Everything else is up to the manager."

Rogers won the first of his four caps in a World Cup Qualifier against Panama in October 2000 but hasn't played since the 2-1 victory over South Korea last year which secured Canada's Gold Cup bronze medal. He was also an unused substitute for Canada's visit to Estonia earlier this season.

But being left out of the Canadian squad could turn out to be a blessing for disguise on the club front.

Blues boss Lawrie Sanchez had lined up former QPR and Motherwell defender Karl Ready as a direct replacement for Rogers because he feared losing his centreback to the Gold Cup.

Ready Ð a transfer target of The Chairboys three years Ð has been training with Wanderers this summer but so far has not been offered anything.

But Rogers is determined to fight off all-comers for his club and international shirt.

He said: "With the emergence of Luke Oliver and Roger Johnson alongside Andy Thomson, it's going to be a difficult fight for a place and I can't worry about whether the manager is going to bring someone else in. I will compete the best I can. The more you worry about what anyone else is doing the worse you perform."

And Rogers can't wait to get going.

He said: "The players are positive. Last season was disappointing. That's done now. The players are focusing on the new season and we're all quietly excited and optimistic about doing well."

"A pretty move, for the love of God."

Eduardo Galeano

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