Australia may have been knocked out of the FIFA World Cup but Alex Wilkinson is relishing the dawn of a new era under Ange Postecoglou.
Having lost their opening two Group B matches to Chile and the Netherlands, Australia cannot qualify for the knockout stages and face a dead-rubber clash with Spain in their final pool game.
Despite the defeats, Australia have earned plaudits for two plucky performances, and even led the Netherlands 2-1 in Wednesday's showdown before Louis van Gaal's men rallied to win 3-2.
Centre-back Wilkinson believes Australia have shown that they deserve to grace the world stage, and is optimistic about the team's chances going forward under head coach Postecoglou, who only took the reins last October.
"It's the start of a new era, I think," Wilkinson told FIFA.com . "The boss has come in and made a lot of changes.
"He definitely believes in youth, he believes in young Australian players and he's shown that.
"He's also shown that he believes in playing football and putting teams under pressure. (Against the Dutch) I thought we did that very well, we pressed them quite well, and I don't know that they would have expected that.
"I think it put them on the back foot. It's great to go out and see that an Aussie team can mix it with the best, and we'll take a lot of confidence from it."
Defensive colleague Matthew Spiranovic also has a positive outlook on Australia's future, insisting that the side will only keep improving.
"Australia's coming, and we'll definitely be fighting at the highest level in the future," he said. "In the first half (against the Netherlands), it was all about us.
"We're really showing that we can even outplay these type of teams, and we're only going to get better.
"It's been a short period since Ange took over, and there have been a lot of changes. We've played unbelievably, considering that.
"I'm sure over the coming years that we'll definitely be stepping up and going forward every single game we play."
Have you signed up to receive Socceroos Insider – Daily?
Sign up now to receive our daily newsletter, delivered at 12pm AEST each day, featuring all the best news and videos direct from camp in Vitoria Brazil.
For exclusive Socceroo videos from inside the camp in Brazil, head to http://www.socceroos.com.au/videos
And don't forget to get social with the Socceroos
Aussies Abroad: Leckie on target in Hertha's Bundesliga draw
Mathew Leckie was on the scoresheet in Hertha Berlin’s 2-2 draw with Augsburg in this morning’s Bundesliga clash. The 27-year-old finished off a rapid counter attack from Hertha in the first half to level the scores at 1-1. Leckie’s strike is his second in five Bundesliga m
Aussies Abroad: Rogic, Vukovic primed for big UEFA Europa League ties
Tom Rogic and Celtic will face traditional La Liga powerhouse Valencia while Danny Vukovic’s Gent take on Czech giants Slavia Prague after the draw for the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 was made on Tuesday morning (AEDT). Celtic scrapped through by the skin of their teeth, af
Aussies Abroad: Jeggo stars in Vienna derby, Ryan edged by Chelsea in Premier League
A clean sheet, a title race and a derby goal headlined an action-packed night for our overseas Australians. In Austria, James Jeggo opened his account for the season in Austria Wien’s 6-1 hammering of Rapid Wien in the Vienna derby. DEGENEK REFLECTS: Caltex Socceroos defend
Aussies Abroad: Luongo, Irvine help sides to important Championship wins
Massimo Luongo and Jackson Irvine both braved atrocious English weather to help steer their sides to Championship victories on Sunday morning (AEDT). And in warmer temperatures, Matt Jurman’s Al Ittihad broke through for their first win of the Saudi Arabia Pro League season at