SYDNEY (AP) — Long-time skipper Lucas Neill has been told he's not part of Australia's plans for the World Cup.
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou on Tuesday confirmed the 36-year-old defender would not be included in the provisional 30-man squad announced next week.
Neill made his international debut in 1996 and has played 96 times for Australia, including the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. He became captain for the first time in 2006 and led the national team in 61 games, including the World Cup in South Africa and the qualifying campaign for Brazil.
But a lack of club football ultimately cost Neill his spot in the national team — the former Millwall, Blackburn and West Ham defender is on loan at Doncaster Rovers after signing a short-term contract with Watford in a last-ditch effort to prove his fitness to Postecoglou.
"In the end I just had to make a decision, not so much about the recent history but the last six months, in terms of form and fitness," Postecoglou said. "There just wasn't enough evidence there for me to say he'd be able to hold up in a World Cup.