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Blackburn Rovers' Grella to focus on club football

Vince Grella has stated he is set to focus on playing with Blackburn Rovers, indicating his international career may be over.

The 30-year old defensive midfielder has had a torrid time since joining the Rovers from Torino in August 2008 and said his desire to get back to full fitness and away from the medical room was his main reason for ruling himself out of Australia's next international friendly against Slovenia on August 11.

''I don't just want to be included in Australian squads because my name is Vince Grella and I have been around for a long time and am just part of the furniture,'' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

''When I was in Australia I had a meeting with Han Berger [Australia's technical director] and John Boultbee [the FFA's head of national teams] to discuss my future with the Socceroos. I told them that I felt that in the last year-and-a-half I had not been able to present myself properly at club level because of the demands involved in playing with the national team.

''I think the most important thing is playing well at club level, being fit and in good form so that when I do join up with the national team I can be a big player, someone who can be a real contributor.

''I want the new manager to watch me playing in the Premier League and pick me on form and fitness. I don't feel I have been able to do justice to the name and reputation I have built up with the national team over eight years. I am not the sort of person who wants to stay in the team because it will get me a sponsorship deal or a bit of media work.

''I enjoy the publicity of being in the Socceroos just like any other player, but at nearly 31, I want to be a regular first-team player with my club, whether that is in England or elsewhere.''

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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