Skoko Headlines Hawaiian Squad

Socceroo legend Josip Skoko will come out of retirement and make one final bow as Melbourne Heart FC takes part in the inaugural Hawaiian Islands Invitational starting on Thursday.

Socceroo legend Josip Skoko will come out of retirement and make one final bow as Melbourne Heart FC takes part in the inaugural Hawaiian Islands Invitational starting on Thursday.

The former Premier League star answered the call to the don the boots once more as Heart faces some of the leading sides in the Pacific Rim including 2010 MLS Champions Colorado Rapids and K-League side Busan I-Park.

Taking the reins of the Red and White for the tournament, Head Youth Coach John Aloisi leads a side containing many of Heart-s rising National Youth League stars including Dusan Bosnjak and Stipo Andrijasevic.

The NYL contingent will be joined by some of the leading lights of the Victorian Premier League including former Australian youth internationals Glen and Jason Trifiro, Frank Lagana, Vedran Janjetovic and ex-Brisbane Roar and North Queensland Fury midfielder Chris Grossman.

Aloisi anticipates his side faces a tough challenge in Hawaii, but is confident the exposure to such an elite level of football is positive for their development.

“The tournament is obviously a wonderful opportunity for our youngsters to test themselves against strong opposition,” he said.

“Given the K-League is one of the leading competitions in Asia, Busan I-Park, our first opponents, are set to pose a tough challenge, and I look forward to seeing how the boys fare.”

With Heart fielding a rather raw squad, the inclusion of Skoko will neatly compliment the youthful complexion of the travelling party, offering the leadership and composure needed to make an impact in the tournament.

“Josip-s experience will be of great benefit to the side, and also add another dimension of real quality,” he said.

“We are all well aware of Josip-s capabilities and look forward to seeing him take to the field for one last hurrah.”

Melbourne Heart FC faces Korean side Busan I-Park, featuring former Hyundai A-League star Iain Fyfe, in the opening match of the tournament on Thursday.

Hawaiian Islands Invitational Squad 1 Vedran Janjetovic 2 Jason Trifiro 3 Kristian Konstantinidis 4 Bradley Treloar 5 Frank Lagana 6 Josip Skoko 7 Zac Walker 8 Brodie Paterson 9 Stipo Andrijasevic 10 Dusan Bosnjak 11 Joshua Groenewald 12 Jeremy Walker 13 Alon Blumgart 14 Billy Liolios 15 Phillip Petreski 16 Daniel Peluso 17 Glen Trifiro 18 Steven Gray 19 Chris Grossman 20 Thomas Dunn