Socceroos excited ahead of battles with Bangladesh and Palestine

The “brave phase” of football that many Socceroos are experiencing at club level made for an exciting atmosphere in the Australian camp ahead of Thursday night’s World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

Several members of the squad have entered the camp on the cusp of promotion, with young striker Nestory Irankunda set to join one of the biggest clubs in football, German giants Bayern Munich, while midfielder Josh Nisbet is coming off a three-win season with A-League champions Central Coast.

“It’s just an incredibly exciting environment,” said Socceroos star Jackson Irvine, who will play in the Bundesliga next year after St. Pauli, which he leads, won the title of the German second division.

“Everyone is in such a brave football phase at the moment so obviously there is a lot to talk about (in camp), a lot to think about together and bring that atmosphere together.”

Irvin will be joined in the Bundesliga by his Socceroos teammate and St. To Pauli Connor Metcalfe.

Other Socceroos who have secured promotion to what are considered the top five leagues in world football include defenders Cameron Burgess and Harry Souttar, whose clubs Ipswich Town and Leicester City will play in the English Premier League next season, and fellow centre-back Alessandro Circati, who helped Parma reach the Italian Serie A competition.

Striker Kusini Yengi is set to continue playing at a higher level next season after his club Portsmouth were promoted to the second division of the English Championship.

“The talent has always been there, (but) sometimes football is funny,” Irvine said.

“Sometimes it can depend on timing and a bit of luck. I always look back to Mile Jedinak and Aaron Mooy, guys who have been successful in recent years and played at the very top level, and they were also 28, 29 years old, you know, when they got to that point in their careers.

“It’s a compliment to the tenacity of the players we have and how difficult it can be and the things you have to go through to finally get the chance to play at this level, but now we see with Alessandro and Connor … these younger guys who have now made this step, can be a big marker for the future for the younger guys.

“Hopefully this will change the attitude towards how players go about making moves like this and where the opportunities are that they take to try and get to that level.

“Younger players coming in and playing at the highest level will only make (the Socceroos) stronger.

“Of course it is no. 1 with this team that you have to decide on the foundation of the culture that makes us successful.

“People know what it is and the work that needs to be done, because internationally it has to be that way.”

Such a culture will ensure the Socceroos are not off the pedal against Bangladesh and Palestine next Tuesday in Perth, despite having already qualified for the next round of AFC World Cup qualifiers.

“It never stands still. You know these (international) windows are always an opportunity to develop and grow as a team, to see new players and continue to progress,” Irvine said.

“That’s always been my mindset when you get to these camps. This is an opportunity for us to take another step forward and keep getting better.”

Leave a Comment