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Socceroo disappointed at Vardy's absence for friendly

Soccer

Socceroos goalkeeper Mathew Ryan says he is disappointed England striker Jamie Vardy will miss Friday’s game against Australia.

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The Leicester City spearhead has been granted time off to get married on Wednesday, following England’s 2-1 win over Turkey on Sunday, a game in which he scored the winning goal.

“I was looking forward, if I’m going to play, to having faced him,” Ryan said.

“(He’s a) big name going around at the moment coming off his season and the club season. I’d have thrived if he would’ve been there.”

England coach Roy Hodgson has given Vardy until Saturday to enjoy his wedding, although the 29-year-old reportedly plans to return on Thursday.

If that is the case, he still won’t be considered for inclusion against Australia.

Vardy’s absence reduces Hodgson’s options to Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and youngster Marcus Rashford up front.

England captain Wayne Rooney is also capable of leading the line, but Hodgson is believed to be strongly considering using him in a midfield role at next month’s European Championship in France.

Rooney played a starring role from midfield in Manchester United’s 2-1 FA Cup final win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Should the skipper play against Australia at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, he’ll be facing the opponent he made his England debut against as a 17-year-old.

The Socceroos won that game 3-1, still one of Ryan’s favourite memories.

“(It was on) before going to school, I was still in primary school at that stage, I think maybe year five or six, waking up early in the morning and I fondly remember Harry (Kewell) rounding the keeper,” Ryan said.

Ryan will be battling Bournemouth goalkeeper Adam Federici for a prized starting spot.

The 24-year-old says he’s ready to resume national duty, despite a stop-start season at club level with Valencia where he slid down the goalkeeper pecking order under new manager Pako Ayestaran.

“It’s been I guess a character building year (and) I’m just trying to learn and continue to improve,” Ryan said.

-AAP

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