Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine is hoping that his St. Pauli form can translate onto the national team stage when the Green and Gold host Vietnam on Thursday night.
Irvine arrived in Melbourne on the high of St Pauli’s German Cup round-of-16 win over Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Dortmund.
The 28-year-old’s second-division club sent shockwaves through the German Cup by knocking out the holders and favourites for the trophy.
Irvine played a full match in midfield as FC St. Pauli triumphed 2-1 over a Dortmund squad containing the likes of Erling Haaland, Mats Hummels and Marco Reus.
While Irvine has plied his trade for the likes of Celtic, Hull City, Hibernian and represented his country at a World Cup, he has no doubt where the ‘cupset’ ranks in his career highlights.
“The cup tie against Dortmund, which fell in our favour, was one of the highlights of my career,” Irvine told socceroos.com.au.
It was one of those 'tough-to-process' moments being involved in a fixture like that.
“It’ll be something I reflect on in weeks to come and realise the magnitude of what we achieved.
“It's an unbelievably open draw this year with Bayern and Dortmund both knocked out and four second-league teams in the last eight so it's wide open and really exciting.”
The Socceroos host Vietnam at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Thursday night, before a trip away to Oman a few days later on February 1.
Irvine predicts the Socceroos will produce a high energy display similar to what his St Pauli side provides each week.
“The way we play is high energy all the time and it’s physically demanding so it always provides exciting games,” Irvine said.
I feel like we’re all in a really good position in home land, in club land, and also within the camp to bring that to the table on Thursday.
“We haven’t played a qualifier in Melbourne in a long time, and under the circumstances it’s hopefully going to be a really good atmosphere.
“Everyone’s feeling fresh. It’s really exciting to get going.”
Thursday night's match will be the first appearance of the national team in the Victorian capital since September 2017.