Despite his surprise at being called up, Caltex Socceroo full back Josh Risdon says his fitness won’t be a problem if he’s called up to play for Australia on Thursday.
Ahead of Thursday night’s World Cup qualifier with Iraq at Perth’s Rectangular Stadium, the Perth Glory full back was the right man in the right place when a toe injury robbed Preston's Bailey Wright of the chance to join the Socceroos this week.
Risdon got the call up and he was front and centre of a large media throng in Perth on Monday as Thursday night's game takes centre stage in the WA capital this week.
“Getting the late call up was a big shock to me. But the fact the game’s in Perth is extra special for me in front of friends and families," Risdon told reporters.
Risdon, who played for Australia against England last May in Sunderland, was one of a number of Hyundai A-League players overlooked for this game and the following clash with UAE in Abu Dhabi on September 6.
“Not being called up to the initial squad probably drove me on a bit more obviously with me being in pre-season might have been a factor," he said.
“We’ve been in pre-season for two months and I’m feeling very fit and if I do manage to get on the pitch, I’ll be up for it.
“Obviously not being involved in the initial squad was a bit disappointing but now I’ve got the late call up, it’s driven me on.”
And Risdon, if he gets a chance, may know a little more about Iraq than most.
Glory faced the Iraqis in a friendly in recent days drawing 2-2.
“I played the first half [against Iraq] and they are a very good side. Not sure if it was their full team though.”
And if he gets on, Risdon may just mark a familiar face in the Iraqi side.
“Ali Abbas [the former Sydney FC attacking defender] I’ve come up against him in the A-League and he’s done really well. He’s a familiar face coming up against him, so it’ll be good.”
Aussies Abroad: Milligan triumphs in battle of the Aussies, Jeggo suffers defeat in Austria
There were two Caltex Socceroos in action across Europe on Saturday morning (AEDT) as Mark Milligan and Jimmy Jeggo stepped out for Hibernian and Austria Vienna respectively.... Milligan played the full 90 in Scotland as Hibs overcame Dundee in a 4-2 thriller at Dens Park. AUS
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic injured as Genk exit Europa League
It wasn’t a happy night in the UEFA Europa League for Danny Vukovic as he was stretched off in Genk’s 4-1 loss to Slavia Prague on Friday morning (AEDT). AUSSIES ABROAD: Vukovic features in top-two battle NEW DEAL: In-form Vukovic rewarded with contract extension Still sco
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's plenty for Caltex Socceroos fans to sink their teeth into this weekend with our homegrown heroes gearing up for some massive matches. Mathew Leckie attempts to slay a giant in Germany, two Aussies set aside national team loyalties in Denmark and Aaron Mooy goes on the
In-form Vukovic earns Genk contract extension
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has been rewarded for his excellent form with a two-season contract extension at Belgian club KRC Genk. The 33-year-old's deal was due to expire at the end of the campaign but the Pro League leaders have taken up their option to extend