Defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley says he’s a more mature footballer and better prepared to handle international football ahead of his second-coming with the Socceroos.
The big central defender hasn’t featured in the national side since making three appearances under Pim Verbeek back in 2008.
While he never stopped believing in his ability to get back to the highest level, Topor-Stanley says he was a little surprised when the call came through from coach Ange Postecoglou to be involved in this week’s friendlies against UAE and Qatar.
The 29-year-old has been rewarded for his sensational form for Western Sydney Wanderers FC and has been one of the most consistent performers in the Hyundai A-League for a number of seasons.
“It’s no secret the Wanderers has been immense for me personally,” Topor-Stanley told FFA TV.
“I feel like I’ve grown as a player and as a man and it’s given me big opportunities to grow.
“I’ve grown into a different role and into a more mature footballer. I feel very ready to step into whatever role I’m needed and help the boys in whatever way I can.”
Defence and keeping clean sheets has been an issue for the side in recent matches and Topor-Stanley said the defenders have been working overtime to improve that record.
Another challenge for the side has been dealing with the heat in Abu Dhabi ahead of Saturday morning’s (AEDT) clash with UAE, with temperatures in the mid to high 30s right throughout the day.
“The conditions are pretty extreme but we’ve had a taste of it, we know what to expect now,” Topor-Stanley said.
“Mentally you have to accept it. That’s the good Aussie mentality, no matter what conditions you’re given, you’ll give your best and you’re all.
“You can definitely feel that among the boys that it is what it is and we’ll battle through anything.”
Aussies Abroad: Nabbout, Urawa Red Diamonds win Emperors Cup final
Andrew Nabbout emerged an Emperors Cup Final winner with Urawa Red Diamonds after the J-League outfit defeated Vegalta Sendai 1-0 yesterday evening. Nabbout was an unused substitute as the Reds clinched the trophy thanks to an early strike from Tomoya Ugajin. It is Urawa’s
'Amazing reward': Cahill to feature in FIFA World Football Museum
A pair of Tim Cahill’s boots will join items like the FIFA World Cup trophy, match balls from some of football’s biggest occasions and rare match-worn shirts in FIFA’s World Football Museum in Switzerland. The Caltex Socceroos legend revealed on Instagram on Sunday morning (AE
Boyle given 'all clear' following 'nasty collision'
Caltex Socceroos attacker Martin Boyle has been given the “all clear” following a head knock in Hibernian’s Scottish Premiership win at Hamilton Academical on Sunday morning (AEDT). Boyle needed lengthy treatment before half time after clashing with Hamilton’s Gary Woods and s
Aussies Abroad: Rogic helps Celtic to big win, Mooy suffers late loss
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Tom Rogic provided an assist as Celtic thumped Kilmarnock 5-1 to leapfrog their opponents and move to the top of the Scottish Premiership table. But Huddersfield Town suffered a heartbreaking defeat, with Arsenal needing a late moment of magic to do