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Matthew Jurman's Socceroos dream peaks with World Cup campaign

04:20 GMT+3 06/06/2018
Matthew Jurman Australia
The former Sky Blue only received his first cap nine months ago

Matthew Jurman was let go twice by different A-League clubs, now he is gearing up for a 'dream' World Cup campaign in Russia with the Socceroos.

The 28-year-old central defender is a strong contender to partner Trent Sainsbury at the heart of the green and gold backline, and he believes Australia has the capability to surprise at football's showpiece tournament.

"Of course it’s going to be difficult but I think it’s going to be exciting," Jurman told Goal.

"Every game is going to be difficult at the World Cup. You can see every team has got quality. They wouldn’t be there otherwise.

"Whoever plays best on the day – that’s who will get the result. I’m confident with the bunch of players we have, we can surprise a few people and get some results."

Jurman started his senior career at Sydney Olympic in 2007 before getting a breakthrough move to A-League club Sydney FC a year later.

Things didn't work out at the Harbour City first time round, with the Wollongong product moving on to Brisbane Roar in 2011, before a return to the Sky Blues in 2013 saw his career skyrocket and his form become consistent.

Jurman was a part of the Sydney FC team that swept all before them in 2016-17, but he did depart in January before the A-League double was clinched, securing a move to K-League side Suwon Bluewings.

It's in Korea that Jurman established himself as a top-class defender and finally earned a call up to the Socceroos team for the Syria playoffs under Ange Postecoglou.

"[My Australia debut] it was a long time coming but it was something that I always I wanted to do since I was a young boy. It was a proud moment for me and my family," he said.

"I just really enjoyed every minute of it. It was pressure games but that’s just how it was and I’m grateful to Ange for giving me my opportunity and I’m happy that we qualified.

"It was in Malaysia actually because we couldn’t play in Syria but it was their home game. My girlfriend and sister surprised me. It was an amazing moment for me to walk out there and have the green and gold jersey on. 

"I’ve played for the [Australian] under 20’s and 23’s but it’s a big difference to play for the national team in the senior team. It was a dream that got realised that night."

After starting in the first three playoff matches against Syria and Honduras, Jurman again got the nod from Postecoglou for the cut-throat final match against the Central Americans in Sydney.

Jurman fondly remembers the occasion as the Socceroos qualified for Russia in front of a parochial home crowd at ANZ Stadium.

"That night in Sydney was amazing. A packed stadium. And just the way we won the game," he said.

"Mile scored a hattrick and I think that was pretty rare for him. We just wanted to qualify and get the team to the World Cup.

"It’s a massive thing for our country. We’re all proud to wear the jersey, proud to represent our families and our country, so it was a great night for us."

Jurman is yet to play a minute for new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk after being injured prior to the March friendlies against Norway and Colombia, while Mark Milligan was preferred in central defence during the 4-0 win over Czech Republic last week.

He will be hoping to get a chance to show his wares during Saturday's final hit out against Hungary before Australia's World Cup campaign commences on June 16 versus France in Kazan.