Perth Glory FC defender Josh Risdon says his country roots helped him aspire to be the best footballer he could possibly be, following his inclusion in the Socceroos squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh next month.
The 23-year old right back is in his sixth year at Glory- a career that started as a promising young teenager while commuting to and from Perth three times a week.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has had his eye on the young West Australian for some time, but today said the boy from the South-West had earned his spot in the squad
“Josh’s selection is a reward for his form with Perth Glory. He has been on our radar for a while now, he’s started the season well so we’ll bring him to see how he fits into the environment in a position we have been open in suggesting we need to create more depth” he said.
Risdon said he was “shocked” when he got the call late last week, but nevertheless was excited to be in the team.
“It’s massive coming from Bunbury. It’s a lot harder being from the country, it’s a great achievement. I’m very proud, my family’s very proud as well. They’re over the moon, so very happy."
“Last year I was in the provisional squad for the Asian Cup and this year I set some personal goals to play for the Socceroos. I didn’t think it would come this early. The first few games for me have been good but I think I can do a lot better, but I’m very excited” he said.
Risdon, a winner for the Most Glorious Player award (2012) has made 96 Hyundai A-League appearances for Perth since 2010. Last year he led the A-League in tackles and so far this season he has created four goal scoring chances, which is among the best in the league for a defender.
Risdon will join the Socceroos camp after the Westfield FFA Cup final.
The Socceroos face Kyrgyzstan at GIO stadium in Canberra on November 12 before heading to Dhaka to face Bangladesh at Bangabandhu National Stadium on November 17.Due to his Socceroos commitments, Risdon will miss the RD 6 HAL clash against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on November 15.