Aussie World Cup bolter Bailey Wright could be a victim of his own success as he stares down a looming club versus country dilemma.
The 21-year-old centre-back, named in Ange Postecoglou’s 30-man provisional squad, is preparing for Preston North End’s final Championship push.
If Wright’s Lilywhites get past Rotherham United this week, they head into the play-off final on May 25, the day before the Socceroos take on South Africa in Sydney.
The League One player is unsure whether he will be available for the Socceroos farewell friendly if his club book a place at Wembley.
“I don’t really know at the minute,” Wright said.
“They (the Socceroos) want me there on the 18th. We’ve got to get the final first, that’s the focus. If we get to the final then we’ll sort out internationally.”
Wright was selected in Postecoglou’s squad despite never having played for Australia at senior level and was still digesting the news when he spoke to FourFourTwo.
“To be fair when I got the call it didn’t really hit me,” he said.
“In all honesty I didn’t think I would get selected for it. It’s not really sunk in. It’s sort of hit me but it’s not really sunk in.
“When I get out there and meet up with the team it’s really going to sink in them and realize that, well I know how big it is, but how good it’s going be.”
Wright has enjoyed his best season at Preston North End this campaign, since joining the club as a teenager in 2009, and has played in 50 league and cup matches.
After missing out on selection for the international friendly against Ecuador, the former Joey thought his World Cup chances were over.
“The Ecuador game, obviously, I was hoping to be part of that squad,” Wright said.
“It wasn’t to be. But football’s one of those things sometimes, you’ve got to put your head down and continue to do the right things, and things like this eventually happen for you.
“After not being involved in that squad I didn’t think I’d be involved in this. Football as we all know can change from one minute to the next and fortunately for me it’s gone the right way.”
Despite his rookie status Wright is not content with making the provisional squad and wants to be among the band of 23 players in Brazil next month.
“I’ve got myself into the 30 squad, I’ve got my foot in the door, now my goal is to be part of that 23-man squad,” he said.
“You’ve got to settle in pretty quickly and learn very quickly of what’s expected of you there.
“I think I’ll give a good account of myself and come the date when the squad’s cut down, fingers crossed I’ll be part of the 23 at the World Cup.”
Wright has played in the English Championship before and has become a regular fixture for Simon Grayson’s men in League One.
Preston North End take on Rotherham United in the second-leg play-off on Thursday night at the New York Stadium after the two sides drew 1-1.
The winner of that match then faces the winner of the clash between Leyton Orient and Peterborough, with a spot in the Championship at stake.comments