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Ognenovski - no regrets over Macedonia allegiance

Former Adelaide United defender Sasa Ognenovski says he has no regrets after pledging his allegiance to the Macedonian international side.

The Melbourne-born Ognenovski, who left the country yesterday to join South Korean side Seongnam Ilhwa, decided to represent his country of family origin over his country of birth.

Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek's rating of the A-League and the players who play in it along with the chance to play against European nations swayed Ognenovski's decision.

"It's pretty exciting to think I could be running out at the Amsterdam Arena - the chance to play against teams like Holland, Norway and Scotland is a pretty big motivation," he said.

"I'd played in the A-League for a while, a lot of people thought I was doing OK, but I was never asked to a camp (for Australia), no one had contacted me.

"Macedonia had kept tabs on me, they'd watched our [Adelaide] games in the Asian Champions League and when they invited me into this camp it wasn't hard to say yes.

"Pim (Verbeek) did try and get in touch at the last minute but by then my mind was made up. If he'd spoken to me even a few weeks earlier, my decision might have been different, who knows?"

Ognenovski took a parting shot at Verbeek, defending the league the Dutchman often criticizes.

"If he doesn't respect the league, he should keep his thoughts to himself," he added.

"He's way too harsh. I mean some of the games I've seen from the Dutch league are horrible.

"You get good and bad games anywhere. Basically, he's bagging the players that he wants to go out there and do a job against teams like Kuwait.

"That's not going to motivate them, it's going to destroy their confidence. I've spoken to a few of them and they just shake their heads every time he says something about the A-League."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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