Ivan Franjic is looking forward to playing a lot more football over the next 12 months with his club career sorted and the Socceroos about to embark on their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.
The 27-year-old ended a tumultuous club spell with FC Torpedo Moscow in Russia last month by signing a three-year deal with Melbourne City FC.
The Socceroos defender said the decision to return to Australia was motivated by the chance to play regularly but didn’t rule out a return overseas one day.
“Going back to the A-League was something I thought long and hard about and I thought it was the right move in my career at this time,” Franjic told FFA TV.
“I really want to focus on playing first-team football and see what happens after that.”
Franjic said the Socceroos were oozing confidence as they take part in a 10-day training camp in Dubai ahead of Tuesday night’s opening World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan.
Ange Postecoglou’s squad are set to play eight internationals as part of the first round of Asian qualification for Russia with the experience of claiming the Asian Cup spurring them to new heights.
“There’s a lot of confidence,” said Franjic. “Obviously the results over the past year have been excellent.
“Especially winning a major tournament we’re going to take all that confidence into our clash against Kyrgyzstan and come out all guns blazing.”
Franjic has been a mainstay at right-back for the Socceroos since making his international debut against Hong Kong in December 2012.
With Australia only beating the Asian minnows 1-0 on their travels that night Franjic was quick to emphaise that the Socceroos would take nothing for granted against the world No.177.
The prospect of competing at another World Cup after his tournament in Brazil ended through injury in the opening match simply another carrot for the workhorse defender.
“I think every game is important. It’s a World Cup qualifier – you don’t want to lose any, you don’t want to be chasing results,” said Franjic.
“Definitely the first game is very important but every game is important and it’s our aim to win all the games and not be chasing anyone.
“We’ll just keep doing what we’ve doing, it’s been getting us results.
“We’ll just keep training and worrying about ourselves and know that the performance will come if we play well.”
Tuesday, 16 June
Kyrgyzstan v Australia
Dolen Omurzakov Stadium, Bishkek
Kick off 8pm (Wednesday, 17 June – 12am AEST)
The match will be broadcast exclusively live on Fox Sports and on a one-hour delay on SBS.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t