Socceroo striker Eli Babalj is banging down the door for a spot in Marco van Basten’s AZ Alkmaar first team after scoring a hat-trick in the reserves on Tuesday morning (AEST).
After scoring a brace last weekend, Babalj continued his superb form in front of goal with a treble as AZ came from 3-0 down to win 4-3 against Utrecht.
Babalj’s hat-trick came all in the second half, including the winner deep into stoppage time.
"A striker is judged on his goals. He is often in the right place,” AZ coach Reinier Robbemond said of Babalj.
The former Hyundai A-League striker has been in rich goal-scoring form for AZ’s reserves side and must be making a compelling case to van Basten for a call-up.
AZ are currently struggling in 14th spot in the Eredivisie
Babalj has endured a torrid run with injuries the last couple of seasons but appears to have his body right and it’s showing on the pitch.
The 22-year-old has played twice for the Socceroos, scoring twice in a match against Guam in 2012.
Meanwhile, Mathew Leckie says he’s still a few weeks away from his best despite his starring role for FC Ingolstadt on Sunday.
The Socceroos winger made a brilliant return from an abdominal injury, scoring once and providing an assist in his side’s 2-0 win over Greuther Furth in 2.Bundesliga.
“I'm a bit tired, but that's normal,” Leckie told the Ingolstadt website on Monday.
“Also, I’m very happy that I got plenty of game-time. I certainly was not 100 per cent fit, but I still found energy and my strong moments.
“Of course, I still need time until I can physically fully utilise my potential again – probably not for a few weeks, but I'm very optimistic.”
Leckie is part of Ange Postecoglou’s 20-man squad for next month’s friendlies against Belgium and Saudi Arabia in Europe.
Refreshed Ryan ready for big year with club and country
Mat Ryan says an off-season trip home to Australia with family and friends has him primed for a big year ahead for Brighton and the Caltex Socceroos. The 27-year-old shot-stopper has rarely had an off-season break in recent years as he mixes Premier League football with his co
‘That sums up their passion’: Caltex Socceroos skipper witnesses awesome Matildas moment
Socceroos captain Mark Milligan and coach Graham Arnold were among the ecstatic Australian support watching the Matildas’ stunning comeback victory over Brazil on Friday morning (AEST). The Matildas recorded one of the most remarkable results in FIFA Women’s World Cup history
Caltex Socceroos to participate in Copa America 2020
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today confirmed it had accepted an invitation from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) for the Caltex Socceroos to participate in the Copa America next year. FFA Chairman Chris Nikou said this was a huge opportunity for Aust
Ryan aiming to break 39-year Brighton curse on Premier League opening weekend
Caltex Socceroos custodian Mathew Ryan has learned who he’ll face in the Brighton and Hove Albion goal on the opening weekend of the Premier League 2019/20 season in August. A trip to Vicarage Road to face 2019 FA Cup Finalists Watford on August 10 is the first league assignme