Milligan reveals Arnold convinced him about Caltex Socceroos future
Caltex Socceroos veteran Mark Milligan credits coach Graham Arnold for encouraging him to extend his international career into FIFA World Cup 2022™ qualifying.
The 34-year-old admits he considered hanging up the boots for Australia following the FIFA World Cup 2018 and the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
Milligan captained his country in the 5-0 victory against Nepal on Thursday in Canberra, having missed the opening round win in Kuwait with a minor injury.
Although Milligan refuses to put a number on the length of his career in green and gold, he is desperate to contribute as much as possible to the Qatar 2022 qualifying campaign.
“It’s very much short-term at the moment in terms of the qualification period,” he told AAP.
MATCH PREVIEW: Caltex Socceroos seek third straight FIFA World Cup™ qualifying win
HOW TO WATCH: Chinese Taipei v Caltex Socceroos on Tuesday night
“There’s a number of things I feel I can help with this team still and I can still bring.
“For me, on the field, was not really the issue. I know what my body’s capable of, it was more the expectations that are placed on me outside of that.
“I want to make sure that I could fulfil them.”
Milligan is by far the most senior of Arnold’s squad, with Matthew Leckie, Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy the only other current representatives with more than 40 caps.
He believes playing regular football in English League One for Southend United has helped prove to himself that he still has more to give at club and international level.
“It’s been good, it’s kept me very fit,” he said.
“[It] proved a lot of things to me that I can still do, that my body can handle and can still cope. Probably the expectation was that I didn’t know if I’d be able to or not.
“Just from the physical side of things, it’s been good, reassuring.”
Chinese Taipei v Australia
Date: Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Venue: National Stadium, Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei
Kick-off: 7.40pm (local); 10.40pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS, SBS TV, Kayo Sports, and via the My Football Live App, Live, Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
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