Degenek’s motivation to make every minute count
He was the last defender to arrive in Camp Caltex Socceroo and Milos Degenek is ready to make every session count to fulfil his dream of playing at a FIFA World Cup.
Club commitments with Yokohama F.Marinos in Japan meant the 24-year-old only started full training with the squad on Day 5 of the camp in Antalya.
DAY 6 WRAP: Training and family time for Caltex Socceroos
GALLERY: Caltex Socceroos Day 6 training wrap
But Degenek, who can play both at right-back and centre-back, is keen to make up for lost time to ensure he makes the final squad that will head to Russia next month.
Caltex Socceroos boss will trim three players from his 26-man preliminary squad on June 4.
“It’s a lifelong dream to go to a World Cup and I’m here to put my best foot forward,” Degenek told reporters in Turkey.
“I hope to be in the 23 but it’s not in my hands.
“I have to do my best on the pitch then it’s up to the boss to decide who makes the final 23.
WATCH THE EXCLUSIVE BEHIND THE SCENES VISION OF CALTEX SOCCEROOS DAY 6 IN TURKEY IN THE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE
“I’m here, I’ll put my head down and work and hopefully I’ll be in the 23.”
It didn’t take Degenek long to realise how hard the players have been working since arriving in Turkey.
Double sessions have been the order of the day as van Marwijk looks to impose his style and influence on the squad with the opening game against France now just three weeks away.
Degenek says the squad is enjoying working under the Dutchman and his assistants – including former Netherlands skipper Mark van Bommel.
“We’ve learned a lot, they are very experienced,” he said of the coaches.
“Obviously Mark van Bommel is someone who has done everything at the highest level and at the best clubs in the world.
“Talking to Mark is different as he gives you insights into other things form when he was at Barcelona and AC Milan and Bayern Munich.
“I’m learning from all the coaches. It’s very good, it helps you and all the boys to improve and prepare for the World Cup.”
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Twelve months ago, Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek was playing in Japan — now, he’s tearing up Serbia’s SuperLiga, having been named in the league’s best eleven for the first half of the season. It’s a credit to Degenek, 24, who signed with Red Star Belgrade in July
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