The 23-year-old has had to be patient while he waited on international opportunities, but his form for Austria Vienna has finally led to a recall
|By PADDY HIGGS
Having found his feet for club side Austria Vienna, James Holland is now looking to regain a regular spot for Australia and has confessed he is "extremely delighted" at his international return.
The 23-year-old won a recall to the Socceroos squad for an international friendly with Lebanon in Beirut on Thursday [Friday AEST] and a crucial 2014 AFC World Cup qualifier with Jordan in Amman five days later.
An appearance for his country in either game would be his first in over two years, and would come as a just reward for a bright start to the Austrian Bundesliga season with Austria.
Employed somewhat more defensively than his customary attacking midfielder role, the former Newcastle Jet has been crucial in seven league appearances as Austria have romped to the top of the table.
"I'm extremely delighted to be back. I've been working hard so I'm happy to be given the opportunity again," he said from Beirut.
Holland said he hoped the impression he made on Socceroos coach Holger Osieck was "a good one", and pledged to take any opportunity offered "with both hands".
"Obviously it's important for us to get the three points against Jordan," he said.
"Lebanon's a good warm-up match for us, and the coach wants to see some players."
Holland, who has five international caps to his name after making his debut in 2008, is enjoying first-team football after three years at Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar without featuring for the senior XI.
He joined Austria in January, making a solid start for his club in the second half of the 2011-12 campaign before establishing himself as key player this season.
"It's fantastic," Holland said of his side's early success. "Obviously it's good to be winning, good to be playing, and also we've been keeping clean sheets, which is good. It's fantastic to be on top of the table.
"I think I've been solid in every game. I feel like I'm growing in confidence and improving, which for me is important, and obviously we're getting results, which makes it feel even better.
"It's still early days, but it's going well."