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By ESPN Staff

A-League has too many foreigners: Arnold

Championship-winning coach Graham Arnold believes there are too many foreign players in the A-League, warning their prevalence is hurting the Socceroos.

Arnold claims his Central Coast Mariners, who clinched their first domestic championship title last Sunday, are probably the only club in the A-League really prioritising local talent over foreign imports.

"I think all other clubs need to follow suit because it's damaging the national team," said Arnold ahead of the Mariners' home Asian Champions League clash with Japan's Kashima Reysol on Tuesday.

"The Socceroos, at the moment, if you talk to (national coach) Holger (Osieck) he has trouble picking any players because there's too many foreigners in the A-League, in my view.

"You've only got nine (Australian) teams in the A-League and one ... New Zealand team (Phoenix).

"If every team has five foreigners that's 45 field players that take the pitch every week that are foreign and only 45 Australians.

"It's not that many players for national teams to choose from."

While Arnold lauded the likes of marquee signings Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney FC) and Emile Heskey (Newcastle Jets), he suggested clubs needed to be more selective with the quality of international players brought into the domestic league.

He stopped short, however, of saying there should be a cap on imports.

"Del Piero and Heskey, they've taken the league to another level. Those type of players, they're welcomed in this country," he said.

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