He’s the newest face in the Socceroos squad but defender Tomislav Mrcela says his difficult journey through the divisions in Croatia has him ready for international football.
The 24-year-old has been brought in for his first experience with the national team, replacing the injured Trent Sainsbury for next week’s World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan.
Mrcela, who was born in Perth, moved to Croatia as a child but finally gets his chance in the green and gold after strong form for club side NK Lokomotiva Zagreb.
“The last two years were fantastic for me. I’ve played two pretty good years in the top division and it’s prepared me very well for the Socceroos,” Mrcela told FFA TV at the squad’s training camp in Dubai.
“I’ll just show my football here and I hope it’s going to be good for the coaching staff.
“I moved to Croatia as a kid when I was six years old so I’ve played all my life in Croatia.
“The journey was very hard from the bottom leagues in Croatia to the first division.
“I’m very happy, I’ve improved my game in these last few years. I work hard on improving my game every year and this is the reward I get.”