Caltex Socceroos defender Bailey Wright has great memories of meeting Saudi Arabia and he hopes that continues when the two nations meet in Friday morning’s (AEDT) World Cup qualifier in Jeddah.
Wright, who plays with Preston North End in England’s Championship, is back in Ange Postecoglou’s squad after missing the last camp through injury.
While the 24-year-old has played 12 times in the green and gold, his debut was against Saudi Arabia in 2014, with Wright scoring in the 3-2 win at Craven Cottage.
“It seems like a while ago now,” Wright recalled to FFA TV.
“It’s something I’ll always remember. Obviously my debut and to score as well and to win made it pretty special and memorable.
“To be able to play them again and on their turf, hopefully it will be just as memorable.”
Wright admits he feels “more and more comfortable” every time he’s involved with the national team and is confident the side is on the right track to get to Russia 2018.
The Melbourne-born defender realised a boyhood dream by going to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
But he didn’t feature in any of the three games Australia played at the tournament against Chile, Netherlands and Spain, giving him extra motivation during this qualifying phase.
“If I look back to that World Cup to where I am now, I feel I’ve grown a lot as a player and as a person and am more ready now,” Wright said.
“Once you have had that taste of it, it makes you hungry to want to go out there, to pull that shirt on and do well for your country.
“We’ve got the opportunity now to make sure we qualify.
"It would be nice to be a part of another one.”