Socceroos Spotlight: 'Terrific' Jedinak goes back to the future at Villa

Mile Jedinak could provide the Caltex Socceroos versatility in defence after coming to the fore in Aston Villa's promotion push.

Meanwhile, a young overseas Aussie is pressing his claims for an international recall at just the right time, while Tom Rogic has produced yet more magic.

Catch up with all of that in our latest Socceroos Spotlight.


Hot on the heels of Trent Sainsbury's surprise positional shift, Mile Jedinak has reversed his team-mate's shift into midfield by taking on a new challenge in typically professional style.

The 33-year-old started at centre-back for the second match in a week as Aston Villa edged Leeds United 1-0 on Friday night.

Jedinak led his team in both clearances (six) and aerial duels (10), winning eight.

READ: Jedinak's Villa confirm Championship play-off spot

His performance helped Villa record back-to-back clean sheets in John Terry's absence and earned him plenty of praise from assistant coach Colin Calderwood, who has witnessed an unmistakable drive in the veteran.

"He's been terrific. What he's got coming up in the summer has certainly helped us a lot," Calderwood said in a video posted to the club's Twitter account.

"He's been a terrific influence on the dressing room.

"He's been excellent pre-match, post-match, and it's that character I think you players can learn off and have to watch."

Mile Jedinak
Could we see the skipper in defence in Russia?


Contrary to Jedinak, it seems Ajdin Hrustic could be the next talented Aussie to make his home in midfield after handling the responsibility with aplomb in FC Groningen's 2-1 win over Roda JC on Monday morning (AEST).

Stepping in for the suspended Juninho Bacuna, the 21-year-old Melburnian gained possession more times than any other player (10) and led his team in blocks (two), touches (77), passes (55) and passing accuracy (85.5 per cent).

He also tested the opposition goalkeeper with fine early free-kick, although his best work was to come with a raking cross-field pass that led to the opening goal and earned him widespread acclaim.


The one-time Caltex Socceroo was pleased with how he adapted to the new role as Groningen moved seven points clear of the Eredivisie's bottom three.

"It's a new position for me. The last few games I've been playing as a left winger or right winger," Hrustic said in a club interview.

"So it's quite new, but you have to get used to it and I think I did quite well.

"Everyone was buzzing [after the result]. People came in the change room that I've never seen before! Everyone is happy."


Hrustic's fellow left-footer Tom Rogic was at it again over the weekend as he scored against Glasgow rivals Rangers for the third time this term.

The playmaker set his side on their way to a dominant 4-0 victory as they booked a place in the Scottish Cup final, with his deft effort voted by Hoops fans as their favourite goal of the day in a Twitter poll.

Check out a fresh view of Rogic's composed strike.