Socceroo Bruce Djite says that there is added desire and desperation to get to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, after learning of Australia’s group opponents.
Handed one of the toughest groups at the tournament, Australia will need to overcome three-time World Cup winners Germany, impressive European qualifiers Serbia and African powerhouse Ghana to reach the knockout stages.
A fringe squad member who has featured sporadically in Head Coach Pim Verbeek’s set up over the past two years, Djite says there is now added incentive to force his way into the 23-man squad to travel to South Africa after seeing the results of the draw.
“I can say that it definitely brings extra excitement and motivation to win a spot in the final squad of 23,” Djite told Goal.com.
“I was always motivated to go but now the draw is out it adds even more desire and desperation to be involved in anyway in South Africa.”
Currently based in Turkey with Super Lig outfit Genclerbirligi, the striker remains unfazed by a high profile group.
He continued, “Initially I thought it was a group we could qualify from and that it could've been worse, especially if you look at who North Korea drew (Brazil, Portugal and the Ivory Coast).
“I think its definitely a tough group however at the World Cup I think every group is tough; O.K, I've never been to a World Cup but any team who qualifies for such a prestigious competition deserves to be there and once there, they'll want to win every match!”
With only a handful of caps at international level after he made the leap from the A-League to Europe, Djite is widely regarded as one of the future stars of Australian football.
Despite his relative inexperience, he has identified a strong character within the current generation of Socceroo stars, confident that they will be able to raise their game when they face the likes of Germany in six months time.
“I think the current Socceroos squad is full of top quality players and top quality players always raise the standard against tougher opposition,” Djite added.
“In pressure situations I think there is no doubt that whoever is selected will be 100% fit and 100% ready for any challenge that comes our way.
“The added bonus that I think we have is that Aussie ‘never say die’ spirit and attitude.”
For Djite personally though, Australia’s second group stage clash against Ghana will be the biggest highlight of the 2010 campaign, if he makes the cut.
“With my Dad from Ivory Coast and my mother from Togo, I have African blood and roots.
“Ghana actually is sandwiched between those two countries so it would be special for me personally to come up against Ghana.”
Chris Paraskevas, Goal.com
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