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.”
Opposition confirmed: Socceroos take on Uzbekistan in Round of 16
Following their 3-2 win over Syria in Group B, the Socceroos have earned themselves a Round of 16 clash against Uzbekistan in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™. The meeting was confirmed when Uzbekistan fell 2-1 to Japan in their Group F encounter, putting the White Wolves in second
Spanish legend Villa gives Mabil stunner nod of approval
Awer Mabil is turning heads around the footballing world right now - and one of the sports biggest names has taken notice. Mabil marked his rise to prominence with a sensational opening goal in the Socceroos' 3-2 triumph over Syria earlier this morning, an effort so striking i
LIVE BLOG: Socceroos discover Round of 16 opponent, Mabil insists there's more still in the tank
The Socceroos turn their attention to their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Round of 16 clash against Uzbekistan which takes place on Tuesday morning AEDT. Rene Muelensteen spoke from camp, praising the players' ability to implement Graham Arnold's philosophy and create a heap of chan
Social media reacts to the Socceroos' last-gasp victory over Syria
The Socceroos booked a spot in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ knockout stages on Wednesday morning (AEDT) following a dramatic 3-2 victory over Syria, with the thrilling contest in Al Ain providing plenty of talking points. Stunning strikes from Awer Mabil and Tom Rogic, plus a s