Jurman not about to let FIFA World Cup dream slip
As the frustration of missing the start of the season in Korea started to get to Matthew Jurman, there was one thing at the front of his thoughts to help get him through the rehab.
The Caltex Socceroos defender underwent minor knee surgery at the start of 2018 which kept him sidelined for a number of months.
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It was a difficult time for the 28-year-old, who was desperate to get back to prove his fitness for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Having just broken into the squad for the play-off ties against Syria and Honduras in late 2017, this was a massive opportunity Jurman couldn’t let slip.
Asked how much the World Cup was a motivator during his injury lay-off, Jurman told www.socceroos.com.au: “It’s been massive. It’s all that’s been on my mind since we qualified.
“Having that surgery…since then it’s all been up.
WATCH OUR EXCLUSIVE CHAT WITH CALTEX SOCCEROOS DEFENDER MATT JURMAN IN THE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE
“I’ve played quite a few games and to come into this camp and see all the boys again was a big moment for me to be here. I’m really enjoying it so far.”
The Suwon Bluewings centre-back added: “I am feeling great. Since the last camp [in Norway and England] I went back [to Korea Republic] and played quite a few games.
“So coming into this camp I feel a lot better than the last camp. So I’m feeling good.”
And Jurman has every right to feel confident now he’s back to full fitness.
Having been resigned to a watching brief during the March friendlies against Norway and Colombia, coach Bert van Marwijk hinted Jurman is firmly in his plans for the opening game against France on June 16.
The former Sydney FC star built-up a strong combination with Trent Sainsbury in the play-off ties and feels they are building nicely as a central defensive partnership.
“I haven’t played too much with Trent but every time I have it’s been enjoyable,” Jurman said.
“I think we have a good understanding playing together. Every time we’ve played together I think we have done well and hopefully we can build on it.
WATCH OUR EXCLUSIVE BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE OF DAY 5 OF THE CALTEX SOCCEROOS TRAINING CAMP IN THE VIDEO BELOW
“Those games [Syria and Honduras] were massive for everyone and for me as well to come in for those last four games,” he added.
“To start them as well and play every minute was a massive moment for me and it’s something I’ll cherish forever.
“Now I just want to build on them, play these games [at the World Cup] and just keep building.”
Jurman will be hoping to get his first start under van Marwijk when the Caltex Socceroos play the Czech Republic on Friday, June 1 (9pm kick-off AEST).
A couple of days later the 26-man preliminary squad will be trimmed by three to confirm the final 23 players to go to Russia.
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