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Poland narrow down options
Franciszek Smuda has set his sights on a quarter-final place at least after Poland became the first team to name their provisional squad for Euro 2012.
Smuda has picked a 26-man party, as well as a list of seven reserves, that he will finalise before the tournament kicks off on 8th June.
There is no place for Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak, who joined Watford on loan in an effort to boost his selection prospects.
Middlesbrough striker Lukas Jutkiewicz, who was born in Southampton but qualifies for Poland by way of his grandfather, has also missed out.
There are a couple of names familiar to British audiences, with Arsenal No.1 Wojciech Szczesny and club-mate Lukasz Fabianski among the keepers.
There were also a couple of unexpected call-ups, including young strikers Artur Sobiech of Hannover and Michal Kucharczyk of Legia Warsaw.
As expected, Smuda left out Cologne winger Slawomir Peszko after he was involved in an alcohol-related incident last month, but called up Anderlecht defender Marcin Wasilewski, who accompanied Peszko on the night.
The co-hosts, who are drawn in Group A with Russia, Greece and the Czech Republic, are likely to rely heavily on their trio of Borussia Dortmund players.
Robert Lewandowski, Lukasz Piszczek and Jakub Blaszczykowski give the Bundesliga champions a strong Polish spine that Smuda hopes will stiffen the national team in their second appearance at the Euro finals.
Poland, 65th in the FIFA rankings, are the lowest-ranked nation in the tournament, but the coach believes they can progress to the quarter-finals.
"Our goal is to win promotion from the group, I am convinced we can do it," Smuda told a news conference.
"In the last few months we analysed all the teams. Russia has really excellent players, also Greece is a good team. Russia are favourites to win the group, but we are playing at home and we have to do everything to win promotion."
Lacking local talent, Poland searched far and wide for players with Polish roots.
The squad includes defenders Damien Perquis from Sochaux and Werder Bremen's Sebastian Boenisch, as well as midfielders Ludovic Obraniak from Bordeaux, Fortuna Dusseldorf's Adam Matuszczyk and Mainz's Eugen Polanski. All were either born or raised abroad.
Goalkeepers: Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal), Lukasz Fabianski (Arsenal), Przemyslaw Tyton (PSV)
Defenders: Lukasz Piszczek (Dortmund), Marcin Wasilewski (Anderlecht), Jakub Wawrzyniak (Legia Warsaw), Marcin Kaminski (Lech Poznan), Grzegorz Wojtkowiak (Lech Poznan), Tomasz Jodlowiec (Polonia Warsaw), Sebastian Boenisch (Werder Bremen), Damien Perquis (Sochaux), Kamil Glik (Torino)
Midfielders: Eugen Polanski (Mainz), Dariusz Dudka (Auxerre), Adam Matuszczyk (Fortuna Duesseldorf), Adrian Mierzejewski (Trabzonspor), Jakub Blaszczykowski (Dortmund), Ludovic Obraniak (Bordeaux), Maciej Rybus (Terek Grozny), Kamil Grosicki (Sivasspor), Rafal Murawski (Lech Poznan), Rafal Wolski (Legia Warsaw)
Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Dortmund), Michal Kucharczyk (Legia Warsaw), Pawel Brozek (Celtic), Artur Sobiech (Hannover)
Substitutes: Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagiellonia Bialystok), Arkadiusz Glowacki (Trabzonspor), Marcin Komorowski (Terek Grozny), Ariel Borysiuk (Kaiserslautern), Arkadiusz Piech (Ruch Chorzow), Michal Zyro (Legia Warsaw), Ireneusz Jelen (Lille)
Date: 2012-05-03 14:33:43