The Caltex Socceroos have arrived in Russia for the 2017 Confederations Cup. And the connection with their first up opponents is a strong one.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE FLOWS THROUGH SOCCEROOS
Australia meets Germany on Tuesday morning in Sochi (1am AEST)
Mitch Langerak and Matthew Leckie have played in Germany for several years, while Jamie Maclaren will soon join SV Darmstadt.
Milos Degenek and Robbie Kruse have also played there, as has one of the squad’s youngest players, Ajdin Hrustic.
While he is currently on the books of Dutch side Groningen, the 20-year old midfielder previously spent time at Schalke 04.
“I played in Germany for two and half years,” Hrustic said.
“They're aggressive, they're quick, they're sharp.
“Germany have come out here with a young, but strong side.
“They're obviously playing to win it, just like we are,” he said.
HRUSTIC’S HOMETOWN DEBUT
Hrustic is one of four new-boys in the Caltex Socceroos squad.
In a special moment, the 20-year old Melbourne-raised midfielder debuted in his hometown against Brazil on Tuesday night.
“It was an honour to play against Brazil,” he smiled.
“But the biggest honour was wearing the green and gold.
“It can always be better, but with a debut, I can only take it as a positive.”
AJDIN AMPED FOR MORE ACTION
Having had a taste of international football, Hrustic is keen to play his part in the coming weeks and months.
And he’s confident he can do a job if called upon.
“I'm always confident,” he said.
“I just hope I make some minutes.
“It doesn't have to be against Germany - obviously it can be - why not? – or in the group stage games.
“I'll take it step by step and see how it goes,” Hrustic added.