Football 1 year ago

Socceroo Jedinak loses Palace armband

  • Socceroo Jedinak loses Palace armband

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Mile Jedinak of Crystal Palace reacts during The Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on May 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak might be facing an uncertain future at English Premier League club Crystal Palace after being stripped of the captaincy.

Palace manager Alan Pardew has installed English centre-back Scott Dann as new skipper after a pre-season tour of North America.

"I've decided to change the club captaincy," he told the club's website.

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"Mile has been legendary for this football club and a brilliant leader.

"I just thought it was time for a change and I think Scott will carry it well."

The personal setback for the inspirational midfielder, who led Australia to the Asian Cup title last year, is also a setback for the Socceroos.

National team coach Ange Postecoglou has repeatedly stated his preference to have all his players in action as often as possible to enhance the squad's form and fitness.

The next phase of World Cup qualifiers begin next month against Iraq and United Arab Emirates, although it remains to be seen whether Pardew's demotion means Jedinak is not in his first-team plans.

Jedinak, 31, joined Palace five years ago and led the side into the Premier League from the second-tier of English football.

He captained them in the FA Cup Final last May, becoming just the fifth Australian to play in the showpiece match and the first as captain.

But he struggled for fluency during the 2015/16 Premier League campaign due to injury and non-selection.

Ankle and hamstring complaints dogged the inspirational Socceroo, also affecting his national team duties.

At Palace, Frenchman Yohan Cabaye and Scot James McArthur were often preferred by Pardew in central midfield.

Jedinak has also faced competition from emerging English midfielder Hiram Boateng during Palace's pre-season.

The Australian has started three of the club's six friendly fixtures to date.

Pardew has made three signings in the off-season break - goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, defender James Tomkins and winger Andros Townsend.

It appears unlikely he will add another central midfielder to compete alongside Jedinak, with Pardew instead keen to bring in another striker.

The English Premier League kicks off on Saturday, August 13, with Palace starting their campaign at home against West Bromwich Albion.

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