Battle-hardened Irvine, Behich pushing for starts

Competition for places is heating up in the Socceroos squad as players come into camp bang in form ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and UAE.


Attacking midfielder Jackson Irvine has scored nine goals to help Burton Albion in their quest to stave off relegation from the English Championship.

"Each gap between each camp gives you the chance to go back to your club and find a new vein of form that will make you available for selection and hopefully be a part of the boss's plans for the games," he told FFA TV.

"My approach has always been the same; just try and keep playing as many games as possible and try and learn and develop and if that sees me be a part of the Socceroos squad and starting team then that's a reward for your form."


Irvine also spoke with The Guardian about the national team's growing quality on the world stage. 

“It’s a testament to how Australian football’s come that it’s an expectation now that we should be there,” he said.

“We’ve sort of proven ourselves at that level now and we need to keep pushing. It’s not just about qualifying for World Cups now, we need to do well and progress and go further than any Australian team has before. 

"That’s got to be the goal. As difficult as it is, you need to believe that if you keep playing the right way and believing in the system that we have that it will get us to the next level.”


Full back Aziz Behich has been a fixture at Buraspor, playing all but one of his side's games in Turkey's Super Lig, which he hopes has caught coach Ange Postecoglou's eye.

"It's the pinnacle of being a footballer, representing your country," he told FFA TV.

"You don't always get selected, or you do, but this is a chance for [me] if the opportunity comes to prove that I'm ready to play in that spot.

"Playing back at [Buraspor], I'm just trying to keep fit and play as many games as I can and at the moment my body is in good shape and I'm looking forward to the next ten days."