Socceroos Spotlight: 'Proud' Karacic confident of winning FIFA World Cup spot
He has never featured for Australia at international level but potential FIFA World Cup bolter Fran Karacic is confident of forcing his way into Bert van Marwijk's final 23 for Russia.
Get his reaction to being included in the preliminary 32-man squad and more - including Aaron Mooy's superb day out against the Premier League champions - in our latest Socceroos Spotlight.
KARACIC PROUD OF AUSTRALIA OPPORTUNITY
Fran Karacic has never set foot in Australia, but that doesn't mean he isn't bursting with pride over the possibility of pulling on the green and gold.
The 21-year-old Croatia youth international was on Monday named as one of two uncapped players named in the Caltex Socceroos' initial 32-man roster for Russia 2018.
WATCH: Fran Karacic's highlights
That will be whittled down to 23 by June 3 and Karacic, a regular for Lokomotiva Zagreb, believes he can make the cut.
"This is a proud moment for me ... I know they've been watching me for a while but you never know exactly when a call will come and when it does it's very special," Karacic, whose father was born in Australia, told The World Game.
"I'm confident I can do a really good job for Australia in a position I know they want to strengthen for the World Cup.
"I feel strongly for the country and I am just grateful for this chance."
BRILLANTE BIDDING TO GO ONE BETTER
Along with Josh Risdon, Karacic looks set to face competition for the right-back berth from versatile Sydney FC star Josh Brillante.
The 25-year-old boasts experience at the back and Van Marwijk revealed he was considering the option of repurposing the midfielder, who was part of the squad for the recent friendlies against Norway and Colombia.
Regardless of position, Brillante is simply eager to avoid the disappointment of being a late omission, a fate he suffered four years ago.
"I was quite devastated because I'd been in amongst the squad but then missed out," Brillante told the NewsMail.
"I was quite close last time, like this time, so hopefully I can make it.
"I think as a person and as an athlete you learn lessons along the way, they go hand in hand.
"Over the past four years I've played overseas and at home and I feel like I've grown up a lot."
The Queenslander also revealed his desire to win a spot on the plane alongside goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, the pair having both played junior football in Bundaberg.
"Coming through I knew him quite well as he headed to Melbourne [Victory] as I played for Across The Waves," Brillante said.
"It's good to see people from the country areas get picked."
MOOY TYPIFIES TIRELESS TERRIERS
One player who is almost certain to be selected in the final 23 next month is midfield metronome Aaron Mooy.
And he looks to heading into camp in fine form, judging by his well-received display in Huddersfield Town's vital 0-0 draw at Manchester City.
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner hailed the 27-year-old's performance "outstanding" and named him player of the match.
The stats go some way to backing up that assertion: at the heart of a gritty team effort, Mooy contested 11 duels, topped his team's count for passes and was the game's joint-leader for possession gained, doing so on nine occasions.
Lead image courtesy of NK Lokomotiva Zagreb.