Arnold set to finalise over-age berths

Australia coach Graham Arnold has revealed he expects to finalise the three over-age positions in his squad for the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008 by this weekend. Arnold said he will contact the players he is considering for the three available spots, among them Harry Kewell, to get a final answer on whether they would be available.

"I've told all the Socceroo boys who are on the radar I will contact them on Saturday or Sunday to get final confirmation of yes or no - whether they can come to the Olympics or not," Arnold said. "It's important to me they're the right people to fit into the team environment, the team culture, that they won't put a negative on the younger players."

Arnold said he would like two over-age attacking players and one over-age defender to bolster his final 18-man squad. Kewell said after Australia's 1-0 defeat by China PR in their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier on Sunday that he is keen to play in Beijing, but first wants to secure his club future after being released by Liverpool.

Australia have been placed in a tough group at Beijing 2008, with reigning Olympic champions Argentina, Serbia and Côte d'Ivoire for company. Arnold has to submit his final squad to the Australian Olympic Committee by 4 July.