The selection of Josh Risdon and Milos Degenek in the Caltex Socceroos squad to face Thailand gives coach Ange Postecoglou some strong options at right back.
The pair have both made the final 23-man squad for the upcoming FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier in Bangkok later this month, announced by Postecoglou on Wednesday.
While the right-back position has been a troublesome area for the national team of late, Risdon and Degenek are both excellent options and – more importantly – are in good form.
“Josh has been in good early season form in the Hyundai A-League with Perth while Milos returned from injury last weekend in Germany so they will come back into the squad,” Postecoglou said after announcing the squad.
“They give us some good balance at right back.”
Degenek had emerged as a leading option for the position after impressing since his debut against England in May.
But an untimely knee injury forced the 22-year-old to miss the most recent qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Japan.
But after making a solid return to domestic action with 1860 Munich in Germany last week, he’s done enough to convince Postecoglou he’s ready for a return to international football.
Risdon, who has three Caltex Socceroos caps to his name, has made a brilliant start to the new Hyundai A-League season with Perth Glory.
He’s played every minute for Kenny Lowe’s side, providing one assist, five crosses, 14 tackles and 16 interceptions.
With the Hyundai A-League being in its off-season until October, the 24-year-old wasn’t considered for the qualifiers last month but is back in the green and gold after a solid opening month of the 2016/17 Season.
Risdon and Degenek are likely to battle for the starting spot against Thailand during the week-long training camp the side will have in Bangkok in the lead-up to the crucial clash.
While both are strong defensively, they also possess the ability to get forward at pace and carry out Postecoglou’s high-intensity game plan.
Opponent Watch: Celtic starlet set to lock horns with Rogic
Tom Rogic's superb form could hit a grinding halt in Oslo if a Celtic team-mate has his way in the international friendly between the Caltex Socceroos and Norway. Elsewhere, Colombia are set to have some additional motivation for next week's match in London while a FIFA World
Brillante upbeat over Caltex Socceroos' midfield battle
Recalled midfielder Josh Brillante admits it won't be easy to achieve redemption for his late exclusion from the Caltex Socceroos' last FIFA World Cup squad. Brillante was a member of Australia's extended roster for Brazil 2014 but was unable to force his way into the final 23
Socceroos Spotlight: Luongo, Behich take staggering stats into Norway friendly
Bert van Marwijk will be blessed with the arrival of several in-form stars as his squad assembles in Oslo for the first of two friendlies. AFC Asian Cup winners Massimo Luongo and Aziz Behich are among those at the peak of their powers for the new Caltex Socceroos' coach's fir
Risdon driven by World Cup ambition amid 'competitive' Caltex Socceroos camp
Caltex Socceroos right-back Josh Risdon is braced for an intense training standard as he seeks to realise his boyhood dream of FIFA World Cup selection. Risdon is in contention to add to his five international caps when Australia take on Norway in Oslo on Saturday morning (AED