'Greek' Bouzanis Still Wants Roo Shirt
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EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool's Sydney-born keeper Dean Bouzanis has been discarded by coach Graham Arnold for the Beijing Olympics but is still available for the Socceroos despite accepting another Greek youth call-up.
Bouzanis's decision is, in the words of the player's agent, "to continue to gain valuable international experience in the Euro finals," said Terry Palapanis.
Under FIFA rules, Bouzanis can still play for the Socceroos if he has represented another nation at youth level.
"He's still available for the Socceroos though and Dean has a lot of respect for Pim Verbeek, who he met one-on-one at Liverpool recently," added Palapanis.
He will join the U/19 squad that will be taking part in the UEFA championship finals in the Czech Republic next month. He has already played with the team against Slovakia in February. Greek U/19 coach Alexis Alexiou reportedly has expressed his satisfaction with the news.
Bouzanis, 17, was called into Arnold's Olympic squad for May's international tournament in Malaysia but was not called up for the training camps in either Central Coast last week or Darwin this week.
In Gosford last week, Arnold had keepers Mitchell Langerak of Melbourne Victory and Justin Pasfield from the NSW state league in camp alongside Glory's Tando Velaphi filling the keeping roster.
"Dean's obviously disappointed with missing out on an Olyroo place," said Palapanis.
"It seems odd that someone who's considered good enough to now be training with Rafa Benitez's first team at Liverpool wasn't considered good enough for Olyroo camps in Gosford and Darwin.
"The Greek FA are desperate to get Dean on board," added the player's agent.