Rhyan Grant is on the verge of making his Socceroos debut after being selected in Ange Postecoglou’s 23-man squad for two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Canowindra product has been rewarded for an outstanding season so far with Sydney FC, and is one of six A-League players to survive the cut made to the initial 30-player squad.
Grant, along with seven other defenders, are in the running to feature in games against Iraq and United Arab Emirates.
During a press conference last week, Grant outlined Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold and his teammates as two influences on his success.
“The way I play with Arnie [Graham Arnold] is quite similar I suppose to how the Socceroos play with their fullbacks trying to get forward and help out in attack,” Grant said.
“That could have had a bit to do with it [selection]. I think playing in such a good team that we are this year helps.
“Twelve months ago if someone said this was going to be the case I wouldn't have believed them so I am surprised but feeling pretty good about it too.”
The first qualifier, against Iraq, will be played in Tehran on March 23 followed by a home game in Sydney on March 28 against UAE.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is being hosted by Russia.
Australia is third in its qualifying group after five games.
Mat Ryan (Genk, Belgium), Mitchell Langerak (Stuttgart, Germany), Danny Vukovic (Sydney FC), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Milos Degenek (Yokohama, Japan), Trent Sainsbury (Inter Milan, Italy), Rhys Williams (Perth Glory), Bailey Wright (Bristol City, England), Brad Smith (Bournemouth, England), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, Turkey), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa, England), Mark Milligan (Baniyas, UAE), Jackson Irvine (Burton, England), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield, England), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz, Austria), Mustafa Amini (AGF, Denmark), Riley McGree (Adelaide), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers, England), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern, Switzerland), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt, Germany), Robbie Kruse (Liaoning Whowin, China), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory).