The ‘challenges’ that fuelled Adam Taggart's Socceroos return

Socceroos striker Adam Taggart returns from injury as he looks to fire Australia into this year's FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

After being ruled out with a knee injury for the back-half of the Socceroos group stage matches, Taggart returns for the first time since October as Australia look to secure qualification to the World Cup through the play-offs. 

Socceroos Next Fixtures - June Playoffs

The Socceroos face the United Arab Emirates in the Asian play-off in Doha on June 8 (AEST) with the winner of that match to take on Peru just days later at the same venue for a place in the World Cup.

Taggart has been named in Arnold’s 29 man squad alongside a host of returning stars like Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Jackson Irvine.

Check out the Socceroos' full squad for June's crucial FIFA World Cup™ Play-offs here.

With the players arriving in camp over the next few days, Taggart is eager to prove that he has returned to full fitness after overcoming injury. 

“I’ve been working hard,” Taggart told 

“I was hoping to be back a lot sooner but it sort of makes coming back for these games even more special after having a long time out and working hard behind the scenes getting my body right to make sure my knee is in good condition, which it is now. 

It’s these sort of challenges and moments that are why you work hard towards these things to make sure you have that buzz at the end of it. 

“After being with this group of players for a long time and for a long journey in this campaign, I know how much it would mean to everyone and what a buzz it's going to be when we all do it.”

Since returning from injury, the 29-year-old has featured in seven matches and scored one goal for J1 League side Cerezo Osaka. 

While Taggart has been building his match fitness back up, a number of other selected Socceroos have recently secured individual and/or club honours. 

Ajdin Hrustic became a Europa League Champion with Eintracht Frankfurt while Tom Rogic won the Scottish Premier League with Celtic FC as well as Professional Footballers Australia’s Men’s Football of the Year Award.

Denis Genreau helped fire Toulouse to the Ligue 2 title in France and was also named PFA’s Young Player of the Year while Nathaniel Atkinson featured in the Scottish Cup Final and Bailey Wright played a leading role in Sunderland’s England’s Championship promotion at Wembley. 

Taggart said the recent success of his Socceroos teammates can only help their quest to qualify for a fifth consecutive World Cup. 

“It’s been amazing,” he said. 

“All the boys seem to be doing really well at the moment, individually and within their club, so I think it puts everyone in a great frame of mind coming into these games because confidence is everything. 

I'm sure these moments that everyone's been having over the last few weeks will put them in a great mindset going into this challenge. 

“It's these sorts of people that can really make a difference so it's going to be a big positive for everyone.”

Australia warms up for their must-win game against the UAE with a friendly in Doha against Jordan on Wednesday (Thursday, 4am AEST). 

While Taggart is firmly focused on the task ahead, he has allowed himself to think about how good it would feel to qualify for another World Cup. 

“It's something you visualise all the time, I’m speaking for most of the boys here but it's these moments that you play football for,” he explained. 

It's these moments that you have worked hard for all your life so it's definitely something I'm visualising and I'm sure everyone else is. 

“It's a big challenge but there's such an amazing moment at the end of it all when we qualify so it just gives you so much motivation and excitement going into this camp and we need to make sure that we give everything to get the job done.”

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