Cameron Burgess: Why I chose Australia

Fulham centre back Cameron Burgess says the professionalism and the camaraderie of the Australian set-up helped swing him to choose playing for the green and gold over Scotland.

The Aberdeen-born defender, who moved to Australia at the age of 11, was wanted by both countries.

Burgess had played for Scottish national youth teams in the past and was involved in a Young Socceroo camp in Dubai earlier this year.

Burgess told FourFourTwo it wasn’t an easy decision to choose Australia over Scotland, considering both his grandfather and his father had played professionally there, with his grandfather accruing four international caps for Scotland as a goalkeeper.

“It was a hard decision for me and I had a lot of help from my family but whatever I chose they would support me,” he said.

“And at the end of the day, it was ultimately my decision.

“I went away with the Aussie squad at the back end of last season and it was a great experience. The squad was full of great lads and everything is done professionally. This is a perfect environment to play football.”

Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou revealed, following the recent 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia in London, that he has been monitoring Burgess’ progress.

The centre half, who made his first-team debut for Fulham this season, was in the stands as the Aussies defeated the Saudis at Craven Cottage.

“I thought the Socceroos looked comfortable for the most part of the game,” Burgess said.

“They moved the ball fast and had some good passages of play. I think it was a positive game and any win is a good win, especially on the other side of the world.”

Burgess, who was a junior with Celtic, Aberdeen and Perth club ECU Joondalop, has made four first-team appearances for Fulham this season.

The Cottagers have struggled, with manager Felix Magath sacked, but the 18-year old believes the tide is turning for the west London club.

“The team is taking lots of positive steps and we are in a good place now,” Burgess said.

“We had a tough start to the season but we know that positive results will come and that will kick start our season.

Burgess is currently in Myanmar with the Young Socceroos for the AFC Under-19 Championship. Only three overseas-based players were chosen in the 23-man squad. The four semi-finalists of the competition will qualify for the Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand next year.

“I’m happy to get a call-up and yeah excited to get the tournament started,” Burgess said.

“I don’t know too much about the kinds of opposition we will be playing apart from a little about their style of play. But we have a good chance at going far in the tournament provided we are on our A game.”

AFC U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – Myanmar - 9-23 October 2014

Group B Young Socceroos matches

October 10, 2014

Kick-off: 6:30pm (local time) 11pm (AEST)
Youth Training Centre, Yangon

October 12, 2014

Kick-off: 3.3opm (local time) 8pm (AEST)
Youth Training Centre, Yangon

October 14, 2014

Kick-off: 6.30pm (local time) 11pm (AEST)            
Youth Training Centre, Yangon