Coach Admits Getting 'Fat Boy' Fit Is A Task And A Half!

Last updated : 24 March 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor

Viduka has always been a 'big lad', but the former Smoggy is carrying more than a packed lunch around his belly these days.

Some say he hasn't returned to Australia because he's embarrassed he'll need two seats to fit him on the plane!

Viduka's only Premier League start this season was at Wigan on Boxing Day when Toon fans told him "you're not fit to wear the shirt" ... or perhaps "the shirt's too tight you fat *******" ... my hearing isn't what it used to be.

He is expected to return to Australia in the summer, when his contract at St James' Park expires, but time is running out if he wants to force his way back into his nation's World Cup plans.

Australia boss Pim Verbeek: "Mark's a huge bloke and when he's not playing it's harder for him to keep fit.

"I feel sorry for him. It seems it's getting tougher for him to shake off the injuries and he's not a young man any more."

Because of his injuries (and ... errrrr ... pie-eating trouble) Viduka has not figured in any of Australia's World Cup qualifiers so far and a victory over Uzbekistan on April 1 will have the Socceroos almost at the South Africa finals.