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Halifax Daily News: Jazic to Play in Finland Match

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Jazic to play for Canada in exhibition Tuesday, September 16, 2003

By Carl Fleming

VIENNA – Bedford’s Ante Jazic is getting another opportunity with the Canadian men’s soccer team.

Jazic, 27, has been invited to play in an exhibition against host Finland on Oct. 11 in Tampere, a match that will serve as one of the final tune-ups before Canada enters CONCACAF Zone World Cup qualifying action next spring.

“When I look back on my career, I want to have some caps for Canada,” said Jazic, whose previous international experience consists of two exhibitions — in 1998 against Macedonia and 1999 against Guatemala. “I think this is the perfect time to start, especially now with the new coaches coming. Everyone starts off with pretty much a clean slate, and I’d like to be part of the new rebuilding program.

“It’s time to get the ball rolling.”

The contest will mark the head-coaching debut of former national team captain Colin Miller, who has taken over the reins on an interim basis after the recent resignation of Holger Osieck.

“I don’t know too much (about Miller), but I heard that he’s extremely qualified,” said Jazic. “People I’ve spoken to like (national under-17 coach) Stephen Hart and (national team veteran) Nick Dasovich speak very highly of him.”

Jazic’s re-emergence with the national team nearly took place in June when a pelvic injury forced him to remain on the sidelines during a 4-1 exhibition loss to Germany. The veteran left back with Rapid Vienna of the Austrian National League doesn’t anticipate a repeat setback, however.

“The problem I have with my pelvis is chronic,” he said yesterday. “Some days, I feel good; some days, I feel bad. I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100 per cent, but once I warm up, it goes away.”

First test of season

Jazic, who last played locally with the national university champion Dalhousie Tigers in 1995, had a chance to seriously test himself during a 2-1 win over cross-town rival Austria Vienna on Sunday, during which he started and played the entire 90 minutes for the first time this season. The result improved Rapid’s unbeaten record to 6-0-2, leaving them with a five-point lead atop the standings heading into tomorrow’s match against Bergenz.

“I didn’t start the first league game, and the team started really well,” Jazic said of his part-time status after being used primarily as a starter during his previous 21#8260;2 years with Rapid.

Working way back in

“The philosophy of most coaches is not to change a winning lineup, so basically, I had to wait for someone else’s misfortune — cards, suspensions, injuries — to get a chance and, hopefully, make the most of it. Being older, I can accept that a little easier. If I was younger, I’d probably be going crazy.

“We were down 1-0 in (Sunday’s) match at halftime, but turned it around in the second half. We’re going to keep the winning streak going. We’ll see (about remaining in the starting lineup).”

Jazic will fly to Finland on Oct. 8 for two days of preparations and is anticipating a tough match.

“(Finland) has a couple of good players who play in England, and one guy is the captain (of Dutch powerhouse) Ajax. It’s definitely not going to be an easy match. People probably don’t rate Finnish soccer that highly, but they have a decent national team. They finished third in (European Cup qualifying) in their division, behind Italy and Wales.”

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Nice to hear, let's hope it happens. Our over-playing of Hastings finally caught up to us at the Gold Cup & we were punished for it. We have to give Jazic a serious look at left back - or conversely, Brennan with Jazic in front of him, but I'm inclined to think the other way round would be better, as I don't see a need to tinker with Brennan on the left flank, unless we want to try De Guzman there.

Hopefully Miller will also call Marco Reda. Then perhaps we could see this line-up against Finland:

De Rosario, Radzinski

Brennan Imhof Stalteri De Guzman

Jazic Klukowski Reda Nsaliwa

Hirshfeld (or Super Kenny)

Subs: Pesch

Hutchinson, Aguiar, Xausa

McKenna, Pozniak

Super Kenny

I know people are screaming for the return of Aguiar, but as he doesn't seem to be playing regularly I might not start him in this match. But should see some action at some point. As for Bircham, he like Bent, Hume & a number of other players have a club match on that day, so I suspect they will be left out.

We really need to set up more friendlies.

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I agree 100% with gianluca. Aguiar should get some time as a sub n the pitch and the return of jazic is great. the only player left out that i can think of that i'd add would be nash, for his crosses and free kicks, but that would really only be if brennen wasn't on the squad.

and about setting up more friendlies. If the CSA signs a new coach soon, they should try to set up andother friendly (or 2) for b 4 wcq. at least one should be possible right?

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Comments on G-L's proposed line-up:

1. I doubt that we will see DeRosario for this one. He (and Onstad) have a game that weekend and are needed. Also, the travel distance for one game is probably worse than flying Menezes over from China.

2. Agree on seeing Reda in there. Ditto for Jazic, Kenny, Hutchinson and cross your fingers for Aguiar.

3. Brennan and Pesch have scheduled games that weekend but one poster mentioned that Div. 1 games get re-scheduled when they conflict with int'l games. Radz-Pesch would be my speedy choice up front.

4. Brennan, Kuklowski and Hastings will be fighting game fitness due to recent injuries and may not be available.

5. Note that Hastings' poor play in the Gold Cup was (partly at least) due to club inactivity. A season in the Netherlands may just be what the doctor ordered.

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quote:Originally posted by David C.

Comments on G-L's proposed line-up:

3. Brennan and Pesch have scheduled games that weekend but one poster mentioned that Div. 1 games get re-scheduled when they conflict with int'l games. Radz-Pesch would be my speedy choice up front.

I believe it is only when 3 or more internationals are away that games are cancelled in the nationwide league.

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