His toughest pre-season ever and a sensational August filled with eye-catching goals have Tomi Juric confident his is ready to make his mark as a Socceroo.
The Western Sydney Wanderers FC striker is in line to get a crack at European big-boys Belgium in Friday morning’s (AEST) friendly in Liege.
While he has three caps to his name already – at last year’s East Asian Cup – this is Juric’s first crack in a near full-strength Socceroos squad.
And the 23-year-old deserves his shot having starred for the Wanderers in their epic ACL quarter-final win over Guangzhou as well as scoring against Italian champions Juventus in the Foxtel A-League All Stars game.
“August was a good month for me,” an excited Juric said from Socceroos camp on Tuesday.
“I worked really hard in pre-season and set myself a goal to be at a certain level once we reached the Champions League campaign.
“I managed to score the penalty against Guangzhou and I did well in the All Stars. Scoring in the All Stars (game) helped me lift my confidence a bit and gave me some confidence in myself after such a hard year last year coming back from injury.
“I got off to a great start thanks to having a great pre-season and I’m hoping to keep that going for the season now.”
With Josh Kennedy and Adam Taggart both absent from Ange Postecoglou’s 20-man squad, Juric is in line to get some game time against Belgium.
While Tim Cahill is likely to start against the Red Devils, Juric is expected to be thrown into the action at some point at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne.
It will pitch-fork him into a battle with the likes of Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany and Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen.
“It’s something I haven’t experienced at that level but I’m excited by the challenge as well,” Juric said.
“I haven’t been in those waters before and I’d like to test it out. As a footballer you always want to play against the best and Belgium are one of those teams with such quality that they have and how many players they have playing in big leagues.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us but I’m sure the boys will put in a great effort and work hard in training to make sure we’re prepared as we can be for these games.