Mustafa Amini believes he is ready to represent the Socceroos but certainly isn’t counting his chickens just yet.
Amini has begun pressing his case for inclusion in Ange Postecoglou’s Australia squad for September’s World Cup qualifiers with five appearances already this season for his new Danish club Randers.
The highly rated 22-year-old midfielder’s dream is to represent his country and his switch from German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund to Randers was made to help his international hopes.
Amini cut short his off-season holiday when he joined Randers last month and was put to work almost immediately with the club’s season beginning early with Europa League commitments.
A photo posted by Mustafa Amini (@mustafaamini) on
Jul 26, 2015 at 9:59am PDT
The string of matches has put Amini in good stead for the September qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan, given several other Socceroos are still free agents and resolving their futures.
“I think I’m ready, but at the end of the day that’s up to Ange to decide,” Amini told FourFourTwo.
“I’m always hoping, there’s no doubt, I’ve been hoping since day one. There’s a time and place for when that’ll come.”
Amini has been reasonably content with his early season form with Randers, having been deployed in a variety of positions, from central midfield, to right flank and as a second striker.
The former Central Coast Mariners man opened his goalscoring account for Randers in their Europa League clash with Andorran Cup winners Sant Julia.
“I’ve been doing alright,” Amini said. “There’s always room for improvement.
“I still need some time to get more fit and learn my team-mates and how they play, but it’s been a good start so far.
“We were in to it pretty much straight away with Europa League qualification and the Danish season starting early. It was straight into it, no time to rest.”
Amini hasn’t had any direct contact from the Socceroos set-up of late, beyond updating his Smartabase Smart Phone App on a daily basis.
He has linked up with another Australian in ex-Perth Glory keeper Jack Duncan at the Danish club, while his Australian girlfriend will soon join him in Randers.
Amini moved away from family and friends to Dortmund as an 18-year-old, and while he reflects positively on his time in Germany, he’s optimistic his current arrangements will aid his development.
“It wasn’t easy but it’s for football. You have to be mentally strong and I think that made me a lot stronger,” Amini said.
“A lot of people say I went too young or too early but if you ask any footballer in Australia if Dortmund wants you when you’re 17, 18, if they’d go, they’d do it for sure,” he said.
“I jumped at it. I got to be on the bench in the UEFA Champions League four times and train day-in day-out with World Cup champions.”
During Amini’s third and final year in Germany, he was a regular for Dortmund II in the 3.Liga, which he felt was an underrated competition, but added playing top flight football in Denmark was a step-up in terms of pressure.
“It’s actually a good league,” Amini said. “I’ll compare it to Massimo Luongo playing in League One in England. There’s no difference there.
“Now I’m here in Denmark, it’s the first league, it’s European football, there’s pressure on you every game, there’s relegation, there’s European spots, there’s everything on the line.
“The standard is very good. It’s a physical league with a lot of technical players as well. You don’t get so much time on the ball.
“That’s why I made the decision to come to Randers to play first team football. So far, so good.”
Beyond establishing himself at Randers and any potential Socceroos call-ups, Amini is also dreaming about the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The Olyroos’ Rio fate will be decided in January when they compete at the AFC Under-23 Championships in Qatar, with Amini likely to play a key role.
“I’ve always had my eyes on the Olympics Games, that’s one of my biggest goals,” he said.
“I’m an important member of that squad. If the Socceroos don’t come along, we’ve got some important games with the Olyroos coming up.”comments