Short Soccer, January 9, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 3:04am

Owen too old for us, Perth Glory boss says

Australian A-League club Perth Glory yesterday ruled out signing former England striker Michael Owen because they want someone younger. The 33-year-old - who scored 40 goals in 89 internationals, and had stints with Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United - currently plays for Stoke City in the English Premier League. Glory coach Ian Ferguson said Owen's representatives had contacted the club, but the discussions did not go far. "Michael is a player who comes with a high pedigree, but it's not the direction I want to take the club," Ferguson said. "I am looking for a younger player … who has been playing more regularly. I have three or four irons in the fire that I am pursuing, which is good. In terms of Michael, there was contact from an agent if we were interested. It was discussed at a good level, but I have made the decision he is not the player needed at Perth Glory." AFP


Di Canio prepared to fund promotion push

Swindon Town manager Paolo di Canio says he will pay out of his own pocket to bolster the English third-tier club's promotion ambitions. The outspoken former Milan, Lazio and West Ham United player, appointed as Swindon manager in 2011, is desperate to hold on to loan signings John Bostock of Tottenham Hotspur and Chris Martin of Norwich City after their deals expire. "I will put my own money in to keep them," Di Canio said. "I will spend £20,000 (HK$249,000) or £30,000 and put my money in to keep them for as long as we can, because I care and I want to win," he said. "I'm sure with them we have more of a chance to win." Di Canio ruled out selling his houses to finance Swindon but said he was prepared to eat into his savings to take the club into the Championship. "I'm not going to start selling my houses in Italy, but I want to keep those players," the 44-year-old former striker said. "When I die, I will have a bit less money but will have the victory as a manager. I've spent big money on solicitors in the past; you can imagine what I would spend on my players." Reuters


Toure out of hospital after suffering fever

Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has been released from hospital after being admitted with a heavy fever over the weekend. The Manchester City midfielder, named African Footballer of the Year last month, missed the first two days of training in Abu Dhabi, where his national team are preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa. Reuters


Sporting Lisbon give Vercauteren the boot

Sporting Lisbon have sacked Belgian coach Franky Vercauteren less than three months after he was appointed. The 56-year-old former international playmaker, who was a pivotal member of the Belgium side that reached the 1986 World Cup semi-finals, was replaced by sporting director Jesualdo Ferreira after he failed to revive the fortunes of the ailing giants. "As of today, Frank Vercauteren is no longer head coach of the football team," the club said in a terse statement that was released to the stock exchange. AFP


Africa Cup of Nations sales well shy of target

Less than two weeks before the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in South Africa, ticket sales have jumped to 60 per cent of the target but are still 200,000 short of what would make organisers happy. "Our target is 500,000. It's in sight now," organising committee spokesman Sipho Sithole said after sales crossed the 300,000 mark. "I guess it's the kind of target market. It's not like a concert", tickets for which sell from when sales open. AFP