Having gone from a four-month ban to being named vice-captain of the Socceroos, Mark Bresciano is grateful to Ange Postecoglou for keeping his World Cup hopes alive.
Bresciano's chances of going to the FIFA tournament in Brazil took a major hit when he received a lengthy suspension for what was deemed an illegal transfer from Al-Gharafa to Al Nasr, restricting him to handful of appearances in 2014.
And while Postecoglou has placed a heavy emphasis on youth and regular game-time in his provisional 30-man squad, he appears to have made something of an exception for the gifted midfielder, who joins Tim Cahill as one of two vice-captains to assist skipper Mile Jedinak.
"I'd like to thank the coach for giving me this opportunity to still be part of the team and to be one of the leaders of the team," Bresciano told reporters on Wednesday.
"That was my major concern back then when the suspension did come, (when) I realised how long the suspension was for.
“That was first thing in my mind to see what position I would be in leading up to the World Cup and if the coach would still consider select me having not played for the whole season."
While some players have arrived in camp tired from a long domestic season and others are carrying niggles, Bresciano believes he has played just the right amount of football in recent weeks to leave him in peak condition.
"I feel good," he said.
"I've been back playing, finished the season. We had cup games after the league. Not sure how many games I've played. Probably six or seven.
“I've got my match fitness back. I'm in good condition."
All that remains to be decided is what role Bresciano will have on the field in Brazil, with young Tom Rogic's struggle for fitness in 2014 perhaps leaving the veteran in pole position to start as playmaker.
"It's a position I've played many years in my career," he said when asked about lining up as first-choice number 10.
"But I think it just comes down to the coach, he's going to decide what formation to play and what players play in those positions.
“My first task is just being selected in the team."
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