924 days and counting.
That's how long it's been since James Meredith last wore the Caltex Socceroos jersey.
Now the Millwall left-back is closing in on not only a return to the national side, but a place in Australia's 23-man World Cup squad as well.
“I love being amongst the Aussie boys,” Meredith told socceroos.com.au as the Caltex Socceroos kicked off the second week of their World Cup preparations in Turkey.
“I'm really motivated at the moment and very ambitious to try and seal my place in the final 23.”
Meredith's two Australian caps came in November 2015 when he started World Cup qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan in Canberra and Bangladesh in Dhaka, both ending in comfortable wins.
In the current squad, only Josh Brillante has had to wait longer for a return to national colours, having last played at the end of 2014.
And Meredith is chomping at the bit to complete his return against the Czech Republic when the two sides meet in a friendly in Austria on Friday.
“I'd love to be a part of it,” he said.
“If I'm not, I'm still going to get my head down and work hard but it would be great to get some minutes on the pitch.
“I think it's more for the management staff to work out who they feel are the best players for the best positions and also to get minutes into players' legs.
“Also to build towards that first game against France, which is the real focus for the staff.”
Jamie Maclaren has joined the now 27-strong squad ahead of Friday's friendly, following which coach Bert van Marwijk will make his final cut for Russia.
And Meredith has relished the chance to be involved in the lead-up to football's four-yearly showpiece.
“It's been really good; we've been working really hard as a team,” he said.
“I think we've got really good players.
“The more we bond together as a team and the harder we work, the better chance we've got.”
Young Socceroos set for kick off in 2018 SBS Cup
A selection of Australia’s finest U18 footballers commence their 2018 SBS Cup campaign in Japan tomorrow evening. Ante Milicic’s side take on the host nation at Fujieda Stadium at 7.30pm kick off (AEST). AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic impress in Europe READ: Why Rene
Instant MLS impression a promising sign for Brad Smith
Brad Smith played just over four hours of football for Bournemouth last season. But it took 73 minutes for the Caltex Socceroos fullback to claim accord with new club Seattle Sounders after an impressive Major League Soccer debut yesterday. AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic
'It feels like I've never been away': Jamie Maclaren's relief after summer in the dark
From an initial FIFA World Cup™ omission to constant uncertainty over his future, it’s been a difficult summer for Jamie Maclaren. However, after making his first start of the season for Hibernian yesterday, the Caltex Socceroos striker feels right back at home in Scottish Pre