Irvine excited for return to Australia amidst positive performances

Upon the arrival of the Subway Socceroos’ upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026™ qualifiers, veteran Jackson Irvine reflected on the journey and different experiences and conditions of the campaign, as well as the performances of recent months.

Irvine was a key member of the most successful World Cup squad in Australia Men’s history, and has backed up those performances with some promising displays against some of the best sides in the world.

Socceroos Tickets banner v Bangladesh or Maldives

The St Pauli captain believes that those outings have set the Socceroos up perfectly for the impending matches, the Asian Cup and the next few years in qualification.

“I think we’ve shown playing against the calibre of opposition that we’ve played, that we’re capable of competing at the highest level,” he said.

“Coming off the back of our most successful World Cup campaign has given us lots of confidence, and we’ve only grown since then in performances - results probably haven’t been as reflective of as well as we have played.

“But for us, that’s something to take forward and look at trying to turn those positive performances into results.”

However, the upcoming games will present a completely different challenge to that of the top sides in the world.

With Australia no longer the plucky underdog, the pressure is on the Graham Arnold's side to get the job done against deep defences who can be detrimentally difficult to break down.

Irvine believes that it’s the Socceroos mindset that could provide the difference, particularly in the tricky, away from home matches.

“It’s all about mentality. We know we have the quality and the ability to win these games, but it’s all about mentality, you have to go in there and understand that sometimes these conditions can be a leveler,” he said.

“But for us, it’s just about going there, staying professional, doing our job and getting the right results.

“Sometimes it’s also an amazing experience getting to go to places you would have never thought of going - it’s a unique chance to see parts of the world that you would never normally go to.”

Ahead of the beginning of yet another World Cup qualifying journey, Irvine spoke wisely of the importance of the matches.

“I think it’s about the journey and understanding your place within it,” he stated.

“Of course this is the beginning of a long journey, but it can also be viewed as a short preparation for what’s coming in January (the Asian Cup).

“And so there’s always something different that you can take from the games.”

Meanwhile, Irvine also spoke of another opportunity the upcoming game against Bangladesh presents - playing in front of the Australian faithful.

Jackson Irvine
Jackson Irvine taking a selfie with fans in Melbourne following the match against Ecuador. Photo credit Aleksandar Jason/Socceroos.

“I think for us, one of the most important things is having the chance to play in Australia, in front of our home fans again,” he said.

“I think over the last five years this is maybe the ninth or 10th game we’ve played at home, which in the context of a qualifying campaign is barely anything.

“So we don’t take these experiences for granted to play in front of our home fans.

“And for myself in my home city in front of my family and friends, we want to put on a great show and start our campaign in the right tone.”

Super-sub Jackson Irvine doubles Australia's lead against New Zealand last month.

Match Details - FIFA World Cup 2026™ Second Round Asian Qualifiers

Australia v Bangladesh 
Thursday, 16 November     
AAMI Park, Melbourne    
Kick-off: 8.00pm AEDT 
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+

Palestine v Australia
Tuesday, 21 November
Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium, Kuwait
Kick-off: TBC
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+