After his extra-time heroics last season, Terry Antonis has only gone from strength to strength this campaign and Mark Bosnich believes he deserves a place in the Socceroos Asian Cup squad.
Playing alongside Melbourne Victory star Keisuke Honda, the 25 year old has become a key player for Kevin Muscat scoring three goals and adding three assists across seven appearances.
Asked if Antonis would be in his Socceroos squad for the Asian Cup in January, Bosnich said yes and stressed his superb fitness makes him an invaluable asset.
“Right now, at this moment in time, if I had to pick a team tonight to go to the Asian Cup, yes he does," Bosnich said on Fox Sports' A-League Hour.
"He’s had a full pre-season, he’s super fit, as are Melbourne Victory.
“When you are a team like Victory who want to drive the game and dominate the game, you’ve got to be prepared that other teams are going to make it very difficult for you and to keep going to the later minutes, after 65-70 minutes, you have to be super fit.
“It’s very underestimated here in Australia in the last 10 years or so since I’ve been back in the country, the fitness thing has kind of been put to the back a little bit but it’s still so so important.”
Muscat recently revealed that Antonis is reaping the rewards of some hard yards he put in with Victory's high performance chief Anthony Crea over the off-season.
“Terry has worked ever so hard with Anthony to get his body right. If you look at him now he just looks different in his physicality,’’ Muscat said.
“He came back in very good condition, his body shape, everything about his physical data is at a level now where it’s elite."
According to the Herald Sun, Antonis along with fellow Melbourne-based A-League players Lawrence Thomas, Thomas Deng and Riley McGree are all on the Socceroos radar leading up to the Asian Cup.
While Antonis' form has been impressive, he faces a battle to force his way into the side with midfield the green and gold's strongest area right now.
Antonis was included in the final Socceroos squad for the 2015 Asian Cup but didn't play a minute as Australia went on to win the tournament.