Aussie defender Bailey Wright marked his 100th appearance for Preston North End against Sheffield United mid-week by wearing the captain’s armband at Deepdale.
Wright, who has been at Lancashire club since joining as a teenager in 2009, is enjoying his best season at Preston as they push for promotion into the Championship.
The centre back narrowly missed out on a spot in Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for the match against Ecuador.
Wright’s Lilywhites dominated the match but could not find a goal in their 0-0 draw with the Blades, which took their unbeaten run to 12 games in League One.
Wright, who took the captaincy in the absence of John Welsh and Keith Keane, was following in the footsteps of Socceroo legend Joe Marston.
The 21-year old first skippered Preston in 2012 in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Carlisle United and has taken the armband on a handful of occasions.
“It was a massive honour to be able to captain the side on my 100th appearance for Preston,” Wright said.
“It would have been nice to win as well but still a special night for myself.”
A former Socceroo captain and coach, Marston was a trailblazer for Australians playing in England and made more than 180 appearances for Preston from 1950 to 1955. Marston was the first Aussie to play in an FA Cup final, in 1954, and the central defender captained the Lilywhites in 1955.
“He was obviously a legend for the club and a great centre half for Australia,” Wright said.
“It would be nice to achieve something like he did over here in his time at Preston.”
The club sits in fourth position on the table, five points off third placed Leyton Orient, but well positioned for a spot in the playoffs with nine league games remaining. However, seven of the club’s recent 12-game unbeaten have been draws.
“Yeah a far few have been draws, which has been frustrating, but a run like that can do nothing but give you confidence,” Wright said.
“We are still eyeing a top two finish, we know it won’t be easy but should hopefully be an exciting finish to the season.”
The Victorian stopper admits it was disappointing to not get picked for the recent Socceroo match but isn’t giving up all hope of a late World Cup call-up. The last time Wright wore the green and gold was for the Joeys in 2009.
“It’s always disappointing to miss out but I just have to concentrate on doing well for the club and playing well myself, and fingers crossed a call up may come,” he said.
“It would be a massive honour to be part of the national squad. It’s been a while since I last got the chance at youth level and, to be to able to do it at full international level, would be a dream come true.
“To be part of the squad for Brazil is something I use as a big motivation, it would be an experience and achievement like no other.”3 comments