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Iraq 10:00 Australia

Emerton expects Socceroos stay

Blackburn midfielder wants to continue for Aussies

By Danny Wright.   Last Updated: 25/06/10 12:01pm

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Emerton: Wants to continue

Emerton: Wants to continue

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Australia star Brett Emerton believes his senior team-mates will continue to play for their nation despite being knocked out of the World Cup.

Pim Verbeek's team ended their Group D adventure with a win over Serbia but goal difference proved their undoing as Ghana took second spot.

It means many of the Aussie team will be contemplating their futures in international football, with many professionals using the tournament as a watershed to end their time on the biggest stage.

The likes of goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, Lucas Neill, Scott Chipperfield, Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill and Emerton himself have passed the 30-year-old barrier - meaning some will have played in their last World Cup for the Socceroos.

Good international players

But the Blackburn Rovers man is hopeful his colleagues continue to pull on the yellow jersey as they look toward the next finals in Brazil in four years' time.

Emerton said: "I think a lot of the players haven't made their minds up as to what they are going to do after the World Cup. It's going to be an interesting few months after this World Cup with the upcoming internationals to see what players decide to do.

"In the last two games we have shown we are not that old after all, we can still go out and mix it with the best and we've shown with our energy levels that there's still plenty of run left in those boys' legs.

"I'm sure there will be a few boys who will call it a day. Myself, personally, I'd like to continue to play on as long as I'm being selected for the Australian team. Hopefully I can guide some of the youngsters and help them become good international players."

Australia will first turn their attentions to the upcoming Asian Cup in January and Emerton is eyeing up success in Qatar.

He said: "It's a good tournament and we want to win trophies as a national team, that's something this team is yet to do. We've achieved a lot, but if we went to the Asian Cup and won a trophy it would be the icing on the cake."

Fantastic result

Australia's chances of progression were badly hampered by their opening 4-0 reverse to an irresistible Germany team in Durban, a result which damaged their goal difference.

And Emerton admits the scoreline had given his side too much to do, although he felt their final hurrah in Wednesday's defeat of Serbia gave supporters back home reason to celebrate.

"It's disappointing not to have progressed, but we did all we could against Serbia," he added. "It's a fantastic result in the end, but the first game we conceded too many goals and that's hurt us. After the Germany game, we were hurting.

"Unfortunately we don't progress but at least we can walk away with our heads held high. Hopefully we've given the Australian public something to cheer about.

"The Australian public have been fantastic in all three matches. This is why you play international football for an atmosphere like that."

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