Josip Skoko


Josip Skoko

Football player infobox
playername = Josip Skoko
fullname = Josip Skoko


dateofbirth = birth date and age|1975|12|10
cityofbirth = Mount Gambier
countryofbirth = Australia
height = height|m=1.80
currentclub =
clubnumber =
position = Central Midfielder
youthyears =
youthclubs = AIS
North Geelong Warriors
years = 1995–1999
1999–2003
2003–2005
2005–2008
2006
2008–
clubs = Hajduk Split
Genk
Gençlerbirliği
Wigan Athletic
Stoke City (loan)
Hajduk Split
caps(goals) = 106 (19)
099 0(8)
058 0(2)
045 0(0)
009 0(2)
000 0(0)
nationalyears = 1995
2000
1997–2007
nationalteam = Australia U-20
Australia U-23
Australia
nationalcaps(goals) =
051 0(9)
pcupdate = 12 November 2007
ntupdate = 11 September 2007

Josip Skoko (born December 10 1975 in Mount Gambier, Australia) is an Australian footballer of Croatian heritage. He is a midfielder who is currently playing for Hajduk Split.

Club career

Early career

Skoko's family is of Croatian descent. He previously played for Hajduk Split (1995-Oct 99), Racing Club Genk (1999-2003) and Gençlerbirliği (2003-05). In 2002, Skoko captained the Genk side to the Belgian First Division championship. He was also an integral member of the Gençlerbirliği team, which progressed into the latter stages of the UEFA Cup in 2004.

Wigan

Skoko joined English Premier League club Wigan on a free transfer at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, although he has failed to maintain a regular place in the first team. On January 7 2006 Skoko signed for Football League Championship side Stoke City on loan until the end of the 2005–06 season. [Cite news
title = Skoko signs loan deal with Stoke
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/stoke_city/4690320.stm
publisher = BBC Sport
date = 2006-02-07
accessdate = 2008-03-15
]

In the 2006-07 season, Paul Jewell showed renewed faith in Skoko giving him an extended run in the side. The transfers of Jimmy Bullard and Graham Kavanagh to Fulham and Sunderland, respectively, in the summer of 2006 left a gap in Wigan's midfield and this led to him becoming a mainstay in the Wigan Athletic midfield, partnering Paul Scharner and Denny Landzaat. He signed a new contract deal keeping him at Wigan until 2008. However, at the end of the season it became clear that Skoko had played his last game for the club. The two main reasons were because he did not play enough games for Wigan to trigger a clause in his contract and also the impossibility of receiving a visa for his stay in England due to his international retirement with Australia. [citenews| url=http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/wigan-athletic/2008/05/06/work-permit-woe-for-wigan-star-josip-skoko-89520-20407038/ |title=Work permit woe for Wigan star Skoko |work=UK Daily Mirror |date=2007-05-06] It was decided in May 2008 that Skoko's contract would not be renewed and he was subsequently released by Wigan.

Hajduk Split

Due to various work permit issues when playing in Europe, it took a longer than expected time for Skoko to put pen to paper with a club of his choice. However, on July 21, and after several weeks of speculation, Skoko had finally signed a two year deal with former club Hajduk. The decision, he said, took only minutes for the club and himself to agree terms. Skoko is relishing the chance to return to the side he made more than 100 appearances for between 1995 and 1999, with a club he describes as "a second home". [citenews| url=http://au.fourfourtwo.com/news/80888,skokos-hajduk-split-decision.aspx|title=Skoko's Hajduk Split Decision |work=FourFourTwo Australia |date=2008-07-22|accessdate=2008-07-23]

International career

Skoko was a member of the Australian National football team for ten years, from 1997 to 2007. He made his debut for Australia against Macedonia in 1997 and was a mainstay of the "Socceroos" side from then on, participating in two World Cup qualifying campaigns. He also represented his country at the 2000 Olympics.

In November 2005, Skoko came on as a substitute in Australia's playoff victory over Uruguay to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also captained a weakened Australian side against Bahrain in an Asian Cup qualifier in 2006.

On May 25 2006, Skoko scored a cracking volley from 25m for Australia in a 1-0 friendly victory over Greece in front of 95,103 spectators at the MCG in Melbourne, which he regards as his greatest national team moment. He was selected in the squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany but did not play in any of Australia's four games.

After being named in the the Australian side for a friendly match against Argentina on September 11 2007, Skoko stated that the game would be his home farewell from international football. [citenews| url=http://au.fourfourtwo.com/news/60232,skoko-will-quit-roos-at-mcg.aspx |title=Skoko Will Quit 'Roos At MCG |work=FourFourTwo Australia |date=2007-08-31|accessdate=2007-08-31] Skoko ended his international career 51 minutes into the match in Melbourne when he was replaced by Grosseto midfielder Carl Valeri.

References

External links

*FIFA player|154066
* [http://www.josipskoko.com Official website]
* [http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/Players/S/SI.html Oz Football profile]
*soccerbase|id=19334|name=Josip Skoko
* [http://www.fourdiegos.com/jskoko.htm Four Diegos interviews]
* [http://www.pintculture.com/default.asp?action=article&ID=44 Pint Culture profile]


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