Looming as a likely starter in the key central defensive role in Australia’s 2014 FIFA World Cup pool matches, Matthew Spiranovic has revealed he is not worried about the prospect of attempting to hold some of the world’s most talented and in-form attackers at bay, but is rather relishing the massive job at hand.
Figuring as one of the more experienced defenders picked in coach Ange Postecoglou’s 30 provisional squad for June’s soccer World Cup, Spiranovic told the SMH the young team view the immense challenge as an opportunity to display their talents and further the proud sporting name of Australia on football’s grandest stage.
“You look at all three squads, full of world class players, it’s hard to pick out one” Spiranovic said.
“That’s why we play football; it’s going to be an awesome challenge ahead.
“This team is full of youth, a lot of enthusiasm and everyone giving 110 per cent so that holds us in good stead going over to Brazil.
“It’s a great opportunity to show what we can do and surprise people.
“We’re definitely going to be the underdogs going into these games, but that’s something that we have to embrace and go out there and try and take it to them.”
Registering a standout season for club side Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League which has also included a so-far successful tenure in the Asian Champions League competition, Spiranovic is understandably excited by the chance of entering his first World Cup as one of his nation’s likely leaders, having narrowly missed selection in former coach Pim Verbeek’s squad for the 2010 competition in South Africa.
“It is a relatively young team but we still have a lot of leaders in the squad” Spiranovic said.
“Of course, every footballer wants to play in a World Cup; I’m no different. It’s the pinnacle of our sport.”
Appearing in what many footballing professionals and fans alike have dubbed ‘the group of death’, Australia is currently give little hope of progressing into the knock-out stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup; offered at generous $9 odds to finish in the top two in Group B at Ladbrokes Australia.