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Rosicky explains Czech withdrawal

Saturday 11th May 2002

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Tomas Rosicky has pulled out of the Czech Republic squad for this month's Under-21 European Championships. "I feel enormously tired and I fear I wouldn't be able to bring anything positive to the team," he said.

Rosicky was included in Miroslav Beranek's squad, but insisted that it is his and his club's wish that he should not play at the tournament.

Rosicky was originally meant to join up with the Under-21 squad in Switzerland one day after the Czech Republic's senior international friendly against Italy on May 18. That would have allowed the newly-crowned Bundesliga champion to play in the Under-21s' last group game against Greece on May 21.

But he explained on Saturday: "Borussia Dortmund did not want me to take part, but that was not the decisive factor and it wouldn't be fair of me to use that as an excuse.

"After the last two crucial games of the season I feel enormously tired and I fear that I wouldn't be able to bring anything positive to a team that will already have played two games together."

Rosicky was brought into the squad partly as a replacement for injured Nuremberg midfielder David Jarolim. It is not clear now who will replace Rosicky in the squad.

Even without Rosicky, the Czech Under-21 squad contains several players who have already featured in the senior squad. Goalkeeper Petr Cech, defenders Zdenek Grygera and Tomas Hubschman and strikers Stepan Vachousek and Milan Baros have all won senior international caps under Karel Bruckner, who coached the Under-21s before being promoted to the senior level.

Czech Under 21 squad:

Goalkeepers: Cech (Sparta Prague), Drobny (Panionios), Chvalovsky (Chmel Blsany)

Defenders: Grygera, Horak, Hubschman (all Sparta Prague), Drobny (Chmel Blsany), Hrdlicka (Slavia Prague), Jiranek (Reggina), Rozehnal (Sigma Olomouc)

Midfielders: Kobylik (Sigma Olomouc), Zelenka (Sparta Prague), Pitak, Skacel (both Slavia Prague), Polak (StavoArtikel Brno), Vorisek (Teplice)

Forwards: Baros (Liverpool), Jun (Sparta Prague), Pospisil (Viktoria Zizkov), Vachousek (Slavia Prague), Zurek (Banik Ostrava)

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