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Gold Coast's Culina relishing Australian captaincy chance

Gold Coast United skipper Jason Culina says he is excited about leading the Australian national team for the first time. The 29-year old midfielder has been handed the captains armband for tonight's Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia at Suncorp Stadium in the absence of regular captain Lucas Neill and sometime stand-ins Craig Moore, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer and is looking forward to getting a favourable result with his nation as skipper.

"I've been doing that pretty much all year with Gold Coast, now I've got the opportunity to do that with the Socceroos," Culina said.

"It's a very important game for us. We need to make the Asian Cup and I'm very confident we'll get the desired result.

"My job is now to help the team ... communicate as much as possible and get the other players around me confident."

Culina said that the match was a great opportunity for Australian-based players to put in a good performance and challenge the overseas-based Socceroos for a spot in the World Cup squad.

"Obviously the players all want to be a part of the final (World Cup) squad. They all want to show what they can do," Culina added.

"They've shown that at training during the week and given the opportunity (tonight), they're going to show that as well.

"Everybody has pride in their performances. Every professional player wants to be on top of their game and there's no better opportunity to show yourself than playing in the national team and having in the back of their minds the thought of being part of the final (World Cup) selection."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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