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Blackburn's Emerton: International week always difficult

Emerton has clocked up an unenviable amount of air miles since making his senior debut at home to Chile almost a decade ago and he admitted to the Blackburn Rovers official Matchday magazine it does not get any easier.

"It's very difficult", he said. "It doesn't matter how many times you do it, I don't think you ever get used to it."

"It's not really the travelling that kills you, it's the actual time difference - especially when you're talking nine or ten hours between here and Australia. That's what really affects you in the end.

"To fully recover and get back into your normal sleeping patterns, you're talking at least four or five days, if not up to a week.

But the former Feyenoord star, who has over 60 caps to his name, insists he wouldn't have it any other way.

"Obviously, I enjoy playing for my country. It's something you dream about doing as a kid.

"I've done it for a number of years now and have fully enjoyed my time with the national team and will continue to do it for as long my body enables me.

Emerton believes that sometimes players should put club before country.

"It is a very difficult decision, especially when you look at the schedule we've got here at Rovers, with games every three or four days.

"It's very demanding and when you're playing at this level, you have to be 100% all the time.

"It can be a hard call to make, but I think Blackburn Rovers and Football Australia have been very good in recent years in finding the right balance between when I do join up with the national team and when it's not the right time for me to play."

The 28 year old enjoys meeting up with the other Premier League Socceroos when on international duty.

"It's a big help there are a number of us over here," he added. If they're all making the journey, then there's no reason why I shouldn't.

"But it is never easy for managers to let their players travel all the way back to Australia and possibly get back here on a Thursday or a Friday and try to prepare for the weekend. It's a difficult situation, but luckily Rovers have been very good to me in that way and friendlies are often scheduled closer to the UK as a result.

Getting to see family is also a big bonus. Physically, the travelling away can be very difficult, but mentally it can be good for you sometimes when you can go home and see your Mum and Dad and sisters and nieces and nephews.

I think it can be very refreshing for you, so in that respect I think it can be a good thing.

For the coming weekend Emerton will be staying in Blackburn, with the World Cup in South Africa 2010 now high on the agenda.

"Our fixture in October has been cancelled, but there's a possibility of a game in the November break. It's yet to be confirmed, but I'm about 99% sure something will go ahead.

"As far as I'm aware it will be a friendly, most likely be based in England or somewhere nearby in Europe, so that's a good thing.

"Then next up for Australia competitively will be the start of the qualifiers for 2010.

"There'll be a few friendly games in between and then into the competitive qualifiers early next year. These will be very important games for us, and hopefully, again, we will qualify for another World Cup."

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

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