Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has admitted it could have been a mistake leaving Josh Brillante out of his World Cup squad, saying the decision to cut him was the toughest he had to make.
Brillante has been named in a 20-man Socceroo squad for upcoming friendlies with Belgium and Saudi Arabia in Europe next month.
His selection comes on the back of missing the final cut for the World Cup in Brazil after being initially named in a 30-man squad.
But the impressive Queenslander didn't let that disappointment affect him with an extraordinary start to his Serie A career at Fiorentina.
After signing with the Italians from A-League club Newcastle Jets shortly after the World Cup, the versatile 21-year-old, who is capable of playing as a defender and a midfielder, has become a regular in La Viola's side during pre-season.
Brillante has already got on the scoresheet in a friendly in South America and earned the plaudits of his new coach Vincenzo Montella.
And Postecoglou, like many, has been hugely impressed by the Bundaberg-born former Young Socceroo.
“Josh was extremely unlucky to miss the World Cup squad,” admitted Postecoglou in an exclusive interview with FFA TV.
“That was probably the toughest decision I had to make. Probably in retrospect I might have even erred in not taking him.”
And many will now expect Brillante to be part of Australia's squad for the Asian Cup on home soil in January.
“It’s great. He’s hit the ground running [at Fiorentina] at a big club in a tier-one competition in Serie A,” added Postecoglou.
“And again one of the lessons coming out of the World Cup was we wanted more of our players playing at the highest level.
“And he’s made a breakthrough which is fantastic. And we’ll certainly move that along by giving him some international exposure … delighted for him but importantly it’s great for us.”