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The Socceroos boss would have been in the awkward position of ordering the young defender to miss a crucial game

There's no worse feeling in English football for players, coaches and supporters than losing in the play-offs.

Preston North End will be processing that disappointment after going down 3-1 away to Rotherham in their semi-final second leg on Thursday, bowing out 4-2 on aggregate and consigning the former powerhouse to another season in the third tier.

Bailey Wright's emotions will be mixed. The 21-year-old must dwell on missing out on a chance at reaching the Championship during the long flight back to Australia, tempered by the excitement of linking up with the senior national for the first time, with the possibility of a shock inclusion in the final World Cup squad tantalisingly close.

Had Preston progressed to the final at Wembley, Wright would not have been involved, with FIFA rules obliging clubs to release players selected for the provisional World Cup training groups to their national teams before the League One decider on May 25.

That would have made the young defender's involvement at Terrigal bittersweet indeed, thrilled to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tim Cahill but knowing he was unable to help his team-mates in their quest for promotion.

Depriving Preston of one of their first-choice centre-backs for the most important game in the club's recent history would also have made the Socceroos unpopular to say the least at Deepdale, particularly if Wright then failed to make the final 23.

Given the promising stopper has the potential to become a mainstay of the backline alongside Curtis Good for over a decade, souring the relationship with his club at such an early stage would be unfortunate, no matter how unavoidable.

Ange Postecoglou may well rely on the goodwill of Simon Grayson to gain the release of Wright for matches which do not fall in FIFA-sanctioned dates in the near future, including the lead-up to the Asian Cup.

As it is, Rotherham's win has averted the dilemma. And while there will be tears flowing in Lancashire, Wright can at least arrive in Gosford with a clear head, allowing him to focus 100 percent of his energy on achieving what would be an extraordinary samba fairytale.

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