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How Parish tied a Socceroo down at Crystal Palace


PALACE co-chairman Steve Parish has revealed the day he was first made aware of midfield dynamo Mile Jedinak by former boss Dougie Freedman.

The Australian skipper is set to lead his country into the World Cup, with their first game kicking off at 11pm today (Friday) against Chile.

It was certainly an impressive season for Jedinak with Palace in the Premier League, and Parish has described the 29-year-old as the club's "strength and energy", pointing to his qualities on and off the pitch.

"I remember I secured him on a new deal between Ian Holloway leaving and Tony Pulis arriving last season," Parish said.

"I would like to think that was a big, pivotal moment for the season as well because, make no mistake, maybe he hasn't received some of the plaudits he deserves.

"He is our strength and energy, our belief system. I think words 'model pro' were invented for Mile Jedinak.

"I think every single day he trains like it's his last. Every game he plays like it's his last.

"I remember when Dougie brought him to the club, he said to me, 'Steve, this player, when you see him, he's a man, he's just a monster of a man!'

"He said I would learn to love him. He first came and we were all looking at his passing ability, it took a little while for him to get used to the pace of the English game and settle into the country.

"But I have to say, Dougie has been right completely. He's a fabulous player and he's been here three seasons now.

"I am pleased to say we got him tied down on a longer contract. In fact, our website company FLI came in to see me and asked why we have so many fans in Australia, because we get so many hits from out there.

"He epitomises what our side has been about and he's a huge, huge part of it."

Adlene Guedioura missed out on the chance to feature for Algeria in Brazil, while Palace could have had a representative for England in Joel Ward.

The versatile defender was ranked highly by a number of statistics companies at the end of the season and was in the top six English defenders in the Premier League.

And Parish believes Ward will get a chance to play for the Three Lions in the future if he continues to progress.

"I think Joel has been sensational for us," he said.

"Could he go to Brazil and do a great job? Absolutely. He has never let us down anywhere he's played on the pitch but I just think not getting picked for England then getting picked for a World Cup is not going to happen.

"Hopefully his time is next time – and it will come."

How Parish  tied  a Socceroo  down at Crystal Palace

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