Rukavytsya ready to relive 'unbelievable' World Cup experience
Caltex Socceroos striker Nikita Rukavytsya is hoping history repeats itself as he zeroes in on an unexpected FIFA World Cup berth.
The 30-year-old flyer was a surprise recall for last year's do-or-die play-offs against Syria and Honduras having spent the previous four years in the international wilderness.
But a purple patch of form for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa - for whom he has netted nine league goals this season - has the ex-Western Sydney Wanderers man right in the frame for a ticket to Russia.
Should he win a place in the 23-man squad, it would make for remarkably similar circumstances to those which saw him appear as a fresh-faced 22-year-old at South Africa 2010.
The Perth Glory product fired his way into calculations with a timely goal glut at Belgian outfit Roeselare, where he was on loan from FC Twente.
"It was a dream come true. It's not something you can really explain until you experience it," Rukavytsya told socceroos.com.au of the experience.
"I was pretty young back then. To be a part of it and to play at a World Cup is unbelievable.
"Hopefully I can push on and it can be my second one."
Tim Cahill, Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan were also present in 2010 and remain among the 26 players currently in Oslo for Bert van Marwijk's first training camp.
Having previously rubbed shoulders with the likes of Harry Kewell and Mark Bresciano, Rukavytsya views the current crop of hopefuls as capable of doing some damage.
"Now it's a new generation," he said.
"The boys are playing in some good leagues and at some good clubs. I'm sure we have a good team and we can really compete."
And as for his message to players who may be looking to write a similar selection script to the speedster?
"You just have to keep working and doing your best," he said.
"In the back of your mind the World Cup should push you to do better. Just do your best and enjoy the experience leading up to it."
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