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.
JEDINAK BRILLIANT AT THE BACK
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.
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."
ADAPTABLE AJDIN EARNING EREDIVISIE STRIPES
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."
HIGHLIGHT REEL GROWS AS ROGIC HAUNTS RANGERS
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.
Boyle: 'I want to give everything for this country'
New Caltex Socceroos forward Martin Boyle said he is desperate to repay the faith shown in him by coach Graham Arnold after making his Australia debut. Arnold visited Boyle in Scotland earlier this year to speak with the Hibernian man about pledging his allegiance to Australia
Caltex Socceroos skipper says late goal 'shows the character'
New Caltex Socceroos captain Mark Milligan said his side’s fighting spirit was perfectly displayed by Massimo Luongo’s late equaliser against Korea Republic. Luongo struck in stoppage time, tapping in from close range to secure Australia a 1-1 draw at Suncorp Stadium in Brisba
Luongo confident Caltex Socceroos will get 'even better'
Caltex Socceroos hero Massimo Luongo is convinced his side will get “even better” ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2019. Luongo stabbed home from close range to score an injury-time equaliser for the Caltex Socceroos in an exciting 1-1 friendly draw with Korea Republic on Satur
Pleasing signs all over the park as Caltex Socceroos impress in draw
It took just a few first-half minutes for the Caltex Socceroos to demonstrate a fluid and free-minded attacking system in Saturday evening's 1-1 friendly draw with Korea Republic. And for a team he admits are still a work in progress, Graham Arnold will undoubtedly be pleased