Socceroos: Connor Metcalfe ready for Bundesliga challenge

Socceroos midfielder Connor Metcalfe is keen to prove he is good enough to play in the Bundesliga after his club St. Pauli sought promotion to the highest German league.

The former Melbourne City star is still pinching himself at the thought of playing against Bayern Munich, Bayern Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund next season and is desperate to keep his place in St. Petersburg’s top 11. Pauli alongside club captain and fellow Socceroo Jackson Irvine. .

“That’s what we all strive for in our careers, playing in the top leagues,” Metcalfe said.

Especially in the “big five” European leagues of Germany, Italy, Spain, England and France.

Metcalf and Irvine will be joined in these elite competitions next season by at least two more current Socceroos in defenders Cameron Burgess and Alessandro Circati.

Burgess’ Ipswich Town secured promotion to the English Premier League, while Circati’s Parma achieved a similar feat of promotion to Italy’s Serie A.

Leicester City Socceroos centre-back Harry Souttar also made it to the EPL by winning the English Championship but is set to leave the Foxes due to a lack of first-team football.

“With me, ‘Jacko’ (Irvine) and a few other guys coming up, it’s a new challenge for us individually to see where we’re at and see if we can compete,” the 24-year-old Metcalfe said.

“This is a really good stage for the Socceroos to develop. I’m quite young and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Even younger is 18-year-old A-League sensation Nestory Irankunda, who will move to Germany to join Bayern Munich at the end of this month.

Currently with Irankunda in the Socceroos camp ahead of Australia’s World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Thursday night, Metcalfe encouraged the former Adelaide United prodigy to be “open-minded” about what to expect in Germany.

“Obviously it’s going to be tough for him. He’s young and it will be his first real move away from home. It’s not like Adelaide is in New South Wales, it’s the other side of the world,” Metcalfe said.

“He just has to take it one step at a time and not rush and try to play as many minutes as possible, whether it’s in the first or third division – it doesn’t really matter. That’s just as long as he’s playing senior football and doing well.

“I told him that everyone (in Germany) speaks really good English, (he will) probably be looked after very well, especially at this club, and if he needs anything me and ‘Jacko’ are there to help him.”

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