Recalled midfielder Josh Brillante admits it won’t be easy to achieve redemption for his late exclusion from the Caltex Socceroos’ last FIFA World Cup squad.
Brillante was a member of Australia’s extended roster for Brazil 2014 but was unable to force his way into the final 23.
And although he’s contending with the likes of Mile Jedinak, Mark Milligan and Massimo Luongo for a national team spot, the Sydney FC workhorse isn’t daunted by the prospect of breaking in from the outside.
“It’s probably one of the strongest parts of our team, the midfield,” Brillante told socceroos.com.au.
“We’ve got a lot of good quality in the midfield so it’s going to be tough.
“But I see it as a learning experience. Learn off those guys and try to be better than them.
“That’s the aim, to keep improving. That’s what I’ll be looking to do.”
With a string of trophies for Sydney FC and almost another two full seasons in the Hyundai A-League behind him, Brillante says he’s better placed now than he was four years ago.
“Obviously being involved up to the World Cup and being dropped just before is tough,” he said.
“But I was young back then and had a lot of learning and developing to do.
“Hopefully this time I can stand my ground in the team and put myself on the list to go away to the World Cup.
“I think as a player and a person I’ve grown up a bit more.”
Source : Socceroos Website
Caltex Socceroos striker Nikita Rukavytsya is hoping history repeats itself as he zeroes in on an unexpected FIFA World Cup berth.
The 30-year-old flyer was a surprise recall for last year’s do-or-die play-offs against Syria and Honduras having spent the previous four years in the international wilderness.
But a purple patch of form for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa – for whom he has netted nine league goals this season – has the ex-Western Sydney Wanderers man right in the frame for a ticket to Russia.
Should he win a place in the 23-man squad, it would make for remarkably similar circumstances to those which saw him appear as a fresh-faced 22-year-old at South Africa 2010.
The Perth Glory product fired his way into calculations with a timely goal glut at Belgian outfit Roeselare, where he was on loan from FC Twente.
“It was a dream come true. It’s not something you can really explain until you experience it,” Rukavytsya told socceroos.com.au of the experience.
“I was pretty young back then. To be a part of it and to play at a World Cup is unbelievable.
“Hopefully I can push on and it can be my second one.”
Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan were also present in 2010 and remain among the 26 players currently in Oslo for Bert van Marwijk’s first training camp.
Having previously rubbed shoulders with the likes of Harry Kewell and Mark Bresciano, Rukavytsya views the current crop of hopefuls as capable of doing some damage.
“Now it’s a new generation,” he said.
“The boys are playing in some good leagues and at some good clubs. I’m sure we have a good team and we can really compete.”
And as for his message to players who may be looking to write a similar selection script to the speedster?
“You just have to keep working and doing your best,” he said.
“In the back of your mind the World Cup should push you to do better. Just do your best and enjoy the experience leading up to it.”
Source : Socceroos Website
Key winger Mathew Leckie has embraced the encouraging early evidence of new coach Bert van Marwijk’s plans for the Caltex Socceroos.
In his first camp in charge, Van Marwijk has laid the foundations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup campaign by urging the use of quick, crisp passing.
The Dutchman’s approach has made a positive impression on Leckie, who is in line to win his 50th cap when Australia meet Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo on Saturday morning (AEDT).
“His history shows he’s a great coach,” Leckie told reporters.
“He’s been here and he knows how it is. Just the couple of meetings we’ve had have been really convincing.
“He wants to move the ball quickly and play fast. We’ll look more over that in the next few days but I think he really wants to play the modern way.
“The more we do, the better we’ll get at it. He hasn’t really cemented the formation we’ll play but we trained the 4-2-3-1 yesterday.”
Leckie will notch up a half-century of international appearances if he features against either Norway or Colombia in London next week.
The 27-year-old, who debuted for Australia in 2012, already boasts a catalogue of fond memories, including a breakout role at the last FIFA World Cup and subsequent success at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for me,” the Hertha Berlin man said.
“It’s all happened pretty quick. I’ve only been part of the national team for four years but I’ve been able to stay healthy and play the majority of games.
“I’ve had a lot of success with the Asian Cup and big moments in qualifying.
“It’s been an incredible journey and hopefully many more to come.”
Source : Socceroos Website
MARCH 10 2018 – 1:29PM Kate Leaver
It may look like a clear, sunny autumn day outside but a severe weather warning has been issued for parts of the Perth metropolitan area and locations just north and south of the city for Saturday night.
Residents should prepare for “damaging” and “unusually strong” winds.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson said easterly winds of this strength generally occurred once every two to three years.
“Tonight’s winds are likely to be unusually strong and may cause damage to property and make road conditions hazardous,” they said.
“Damaging winds with gusts up to 100 kilometres per hour are possible and could cause damage to homes and property.”
The warning includes much of the Perth Metropolitan area and extends south to Australind and north to Lancelin.
The strongest wind gusts are expected between 8pm Saturday and 8am Sunday.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services is monitoring the weather conditions.
Source : WA Today