Sheffield Wednesday’s Massimo Luongo sees international plans hit by injury

Sheffield Wednesday's Massimo Luongo (right) and Everton's Fabian Delph battle for the ball last month. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA
Sheffield Wednesday's Massimo Luongo (right) and Everton's Fabian Delph battle for the ball last month. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA
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SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY midfielder Massimo Luongo has withdrawn from the Australian national squad with a minor knee issue.

The Sydney-born player, 27, who scored his maiden goal for the Owls in Saturday’s 1-0 Championship win over Wigan Athletic, has been replaced by Newcastle Jets player Dimitri Petratos for the Socceroos’ international squad for two forthcoming internationals.

Australia host Nepal in Canberra on Thursday and visit Taiwan on October 15.

Australia head coach Graham Arnold revealed that the former QPR schemer, who joined Wednesday in the summer, has been managing a minor problem and has decided to stay in England following discussions with the Socceroos coaching and medical staff.

Speaking over the weekend, Arnold, said: “Massimo pulled up sore after coming off in last night’s game and due to the short turnaround between now and Thursday’s match, combined with the long-haul flight from Europe, we have decided not to take any risks with him and will bring Dimitri in.”

Bradford City back-up goalkeeper Sam Hornby has joined AFC Fylde on a short-term loan until the start of 2020.

The ex-Port Vale custodian has appeared twice for the Bantams since signing in the close-season.

Hornby started in the 4-0 home loss to Preston in the Carabao Cup defeat and in the Leasing.com Trophy group game at Bolton Wanderers, which Bradford drew 1-1 before gaining the extra point on penalties.

City manager Gary Bowyer said: “It is a great opportunity for Sam to go and get minutes under his belt.

“We have seen how playing regularly has brought George Sykes-Kenworthy on – and we are wanting the same for Sam. He is joining a great club and we are excited to see him develop.”

Dario Gradi has announced his retirement from Crewe after a 36-year association.

During a 24-year period as the most successful manager in their history Gradi was in charge for 1,359 matches, winning four promotions and guiding Alex into English football’s second tier in 1997 and 2003, before becoming technical director.

“We would like to thank Dario for his outstanding 36 years of service to the football club and are pleased to know that he would be happy to continue to assist the club’s senior coaching staff with his invaluable experience in the future,” said a club statement.