Defender Josh Risdon is excited by the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw that saw the Caltex Socceroos placed against Asian heavyweights Japan.
The group also features Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq and Thailand, and has been touted as the tougher of the two pools in Asia's third and final stage on the road to Russia.
Risdon burst onto the national ranks with a debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka in November, followed by the Socceroos’ clash against Jordan in Sydney last month.
Despite being excited by the draw, the 23-year-old right back was focused on making the squad first.
“Hopefully I can be involved in some of those games,” Risdon said.
“It’s going to be a very tough group and hopefully I can test myself against some of those good teams.
“Japan, Saudi Arabia and UAE probably will be the toughest of the lot.”
If selected for the Japan match at home on October 1, the Bunbury-born defender would most likely face some of Europe’s best players; including Leicester City’s Shinji Okazaki, AC Milan’s Keisuke Honda and Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa.
The Perth Glory skipper was thrilled at the prospect of playing world class opposition.
“That’s what you want to do, you want to play against the best players possible,” he said.
“Hopefully if I’m lucky enough to come against the likes of those players it would be unreal and a real milestone for my career.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Risdon has fronted up against world class opposition.
The defender played 45 minutes for the Hyundai A-League All Stars against David Moyes’ Manchester United in 2013, facing the likes of Robin Van Persie, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck.
The Socceroos face Iraq and the United Arab Emirates in early September but before the World Cup qualifiers, Risdon will be pushing hard for selection in the blockbuster friendlies against world no.10 England in May and UEFA Euro 2004 Champions Greece twice in June.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t