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Feb 25, 2014

New Czech coach omits Pavel Jiracek

PRAGUE -- New Czech Republic coach Pavel Vrba has chosen no new players for his first match, a home friendly against Norway next week.

Vrba, who took over on Jan. 1 after the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup, will rely on mainstays Petr Cech, the Chelsea goalkeeper, and Tomas Rosicky, the Arsenal playmaker.

But unlike his predecessor Michal Bilek, Vrba omitted two first-choice players: Hamburg midfielder Pavel Jiracek and Catania midfielder Jaroslav Plasil. Nuremberg midfielder Adam Hlousek returns to the team for the first time since 2011.

The match in Prague is on March 5.

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