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Dec 11, 2012

Heart's Socceroo trio say they're ready

All three of Melbourne Heart's Socceroos have declared themselves fresh and fit for Friday night A-League selection despite their gruelling international tour of duty.

Richard Garcia, Aziz Behich and Michael Marrone say they're ready for immediate recalls for the Heart's clash with top of the table Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium.

But the trio's good health and good spirits after helping the Socceroos through a week-long tournament for East Asian Cup qualification will mean headaches for Heart coach John Aloisi.

He must decide how best to work them into a winning side following the Heart's 1-0 win over Perth Glory, and an unbeaten two-match run since their departure for Hong Kong.

Regular right back Marrone, left back Behich and attacker Garcia are certainties to return to the squad at least - all three among the competition's form players before their Socceroos selection.

"I feel pretty fresh. I played the game Friday, then haven't done a lot Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday," said Marrone, whose thoughts echoed those of his Heart teammates on Wednesday.

"The first training session was today. So as far as being fit, I'm ready to roll if selected."

Garcia and Behich were heavily involved in the Socceroos' four games in seven days in Hong Kong.

Marrone, who played and scored in the match which sealed qualification against Guam, had the lightest workload of the trio.

Garcia said he was impressed with the job done by the Heart's replacements in the absence of the Socceroos.

"I don't expect to walk back into the side because the team's done well since we've been away, and we've had a hard couple of weeks and Friday's going to be another hard game," Garcia said.

The Mariners have six wins and a draw from their last seven matches, while the Heart sit just outside the top six.

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