Whether deployed as a striker or winger by head coach Graham Arnold, Matthew Leckie is prepared to give his all for the Socceroos in Australia's four upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™️ qualifiers in Kuwait.
Throughout a decade of club football in Germany, the 30-year-old forward has enjoyed stints as both as a striker and winger whilst playing for FSV Frankfurt, Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Ingolstadt and Hertha Berlin.
Linking up with the Australian camp ahead of four qualification fixtures against Kuwait, Chinese Taipei, Nepal and Jordan taking place between June 4-16 (AEST), Leckie says he'll relish the chance to play wherever Arnold sees fit in the Socceroos frontline as the national side guns to finish top of Group B and progress to the third round of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™️.
"Both positions I enjoy playing," Leckie said.
"They’re obviously different roles, different responsibilities, but I think I can help the team in both positions. Wherever Arnie sees he can put me to maybe help the team most I’m happy to play there.
"At the start of my career in Germany I was playing in Frankfurt as a striker for two seasons, then I went to Ingolstadt as a winger and have sort of been playing winger the past years.
"I really enjoy both positions, I think I can give something to the team in both those areas and we’ll see what Arnie wants to do."
Leckie is one of the elder statesmen in Socceroos camp and has more international caps (63) than anyone else called up. Only eight players are older than the experienced forward in Arnold's 31-player squad which features seven aspiring Socceroos debutants: Lawrence Thomas, Fran Karacic, Connor Metcalfe, Denis Genreau, Ruon Tongyik, Kenny Dougall and Riley McGree.
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Leckie says the players with experience at international level are blending perfectly with those hungry to get that first taste throughout June's qualification run, and as it all unfolds he's eager to be seen as just one of the players capable of leading from the front in Kuwait.
"It’s obviously a responsibility I’m happy to take," Leckie said.
We have a very good group with a good bunch of boys. There’s no egos here, everyone is very humble, it’s not hard to sort of deal with so there’s not much work to be done.
"Everyone is here to work hard and I guess in a way, for the new boys that are also here, to train well and do all the right things to potentially be a consistent face in the national team.
"In the games we’re going to need to have a few players leading when potentially we get into some sticky situations in the games. In saying that, there’s still more than enough (experience) here.
"There’s Maty (Ryan) who has been here for ages, there’s Trent (Sainsbury), you’ve got (Danny Vukovic) as well who is experienced and also old and leads from the back as a goalkeeper.
"I think the players here will be able to do a good job and put in good performances or play if they need to step up, and do it for us, do it for the country but also for themselves to potentially stick around the national team for a very long time."
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