Dudek excluded from WC team

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek was left off Poland's World Cup squad along with several other veterans.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:40 IST
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Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek was left off Poland's World Cup squad along with several other veterans. Coach Pawel Janas has chosen a younger side with less experience to go to Germany. "That's my decision and I take responsibility for it,'' Janas said. Janas also did not select for his 23-man roster Wolverhampton striker Tomasz Frankowski, who scored seven goals to help Poland qualify. Instead he picked Wisla Krakow's Pawel Brozek and Ireneusz Jelen of Wisla Plock, who each have scored one goal in a combined 10 appearances for Poland. Prominent omissions The biggest surprise, however, was the decision to exclude Dudek in favor of Polish champion Legia Warsaw's Lukasz Fabianski and West Bromwich Albion's Tomasz Kuszczak. Dudek was Poland's starting keeper at the 2002 World Cup and for Liverpool in the European Champions League final last year. However, he has spent most of this season on the bench. While lauding Dudek, Janas said he preferred players in game shape for his tournament squad. "He is a definitely a very good keeper, but the issue was he played in only a couple matches and we wanted goalkeepers who played all the matches,'' he said. He dropped veteran defender Tomasz Klos in favor of Mettalist Kharkov's Seweryn Gancarczyk. Also making the squad was Piotr Giza of Polish club Cracovia, who has just four caps. Janas praised the midfielder's versatility, saying he can play as an attacking and defensive midfielder. "I think he brings a bit of freshness to the national team,'' Janas said. The team includes only four players from Poland's 2002 World Cup squad that failed to advance past the opening round: Celtic's Maciej Zurawski, Bayer Leverkusen's Jacek Krzynowek, Anderlecht's Michal Zewlakow and Jacek Bak of Qatari club al-Rayyan. Janas admitted that the decision to drop Dudek and Klos - 2002 veterans - and Frankowski was controversial, but defended his choices. "These were key players during qualifiers, but qualification finished in October of last year,'' Janas said. Poland is in Group A with host Germany, Ecuador and Costa Rica. SquadGoalkeepers: Artur Boruc (Celtic), Lukasz Fabianski (Legia Warsaw ), Tomasz Kuszczak (West Bromwich Albion) Defenders: Jacek Bak (al-Rayyan), Marcin Baszczynski (Wisla Krakow), Michal Zewlakow (Anderlecht), Mariusz Jop (FC Moscow), Seweryn Gancarczyk (Mettalist Kharkov), Mariusz Lewandowski (Shakhtar Donietsk), Dariusz Dudka (Wisla Krakow). Midfielders: Euzebiusz Smolarek (Borussia Dortmund), Jacek Krzynowek (Bayer Leverkusen), Kamil Kosowski (Southampton), Radoslaw Sobolewski (Wisla Krakow), Miroslaw Szymkowiak (Trabonzspor), Sebastian Mila (Austria Vienna), Piotr Giza (Cracovia), Damian Gorawski (FC Moscow), Arkadiusz Radomski (Austria Vienna). Forwards: Maciej Zurawski (Celtic), Grzegorz Rasiak (Southampton), Ireneusz Jelen (Wisla Plock), Pawel Brozek (Wisla Krakow). (AP)

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