New Caltex Socceroo Jason Geria admitted his national team debut felt "surreal" and hopes his impressive showing can help establish him as a regular member of Ange Postecoglou’s squad.
The 23-year-old started at right-back against Greece on Saturday night and put in an assured performance as the Socceroos earned a last-gasp 1-0 win in the Dodoni Series opener at ANZ Stadium.
The youngster conceded he was surprised how quickly he has risen to the senior national team and paid tribute to the faith shown in him by Postecoglou.
“Yeah it was a fast transition from the underage levels to the national team. But that’s just down to the boss.
"If he sees a player that he thinks that’s excelling or doing well in that position than he’s going to give them an opportunity, it doesn’t really matter how old you are,” Geria told reporters on Sunday.
“There’s certain areas on the field that there is still competition and fullback is one of them.
"I’m doing all I can to stake a claim for that but in saying that there is very good players in that position, here in camp and also that haven’t been in this camp.
“I think it’s healthy to have that competition like that for spots. It makes the quality of training better, the quality of games better and makes everyone hungry for a spot because no one’s assured.”
Geria was first called up to the national team back in March but was an unused substitute for Australia’s World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan.
Though the Canberra-born product failed the see any game-time, he believes the experience helped him feel more comfortable heading into the Greece friendlies.
“I think the last qualifiers for me was sort of breaking the ice in terms of meeting the players, getting to know how they do things here and getting used to the environment,” Geria, a former Brisbane Roar youth player, said.
“There’s such different aspects going from club level to international level and especially with what the boss is trying to do with this team, it's two completely different things.
“I think it was good for me to have that experience last camp. Even though I didn’t play I took a lot out of it. Coming into this one, I really wanted to get some game time and I was just fortunate to do that last night.”
After a stellar Hyundai A-League campaign with Victory, speculation has mounted that Geria could potentially seek a move to Europe.
While the right-back revealed his long-term goal is to forge a career overseas, he insists any move abroad would be need to be looked at carefully.
“Yeah obviously I have ambitions to go overseas. But I think that’s one thing that can’t be forced,” Geria said.
“It has to be the right move because once you go you don’t want to go back within two or three years. You want to go over there for a long time.
"For me, if it happens it has to be the right thing.”
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