Lokomotiva Zagreb defender Tomislav Mrcela hopes his experience in Croatia's top flight has helped him improve enough to impress Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.
The 24-year-old centre-back is eyeing his maiden Australia appearance when the Socceroos take on Kyrgyzstan in a World Cup qualifier on June 16.
Mrcela has played regularly in the Prva HNL over the past two seasons, and he feels that will hold him in good stead.
"For sure the last two years were fantastic for me," he told FFA TV at the Socceroos' training camp in Dubai.
"I played two pretty good years in the top division. Of course it prepared me very well for the Socceroos and I'll just show my football here and I hope it's going to be good for the coaching staff."
Mrcela was born in Western Australia but moved to Croatia as a six-year-old as he embarked on his football journey.
"The journey was pretty hard from the bottom leagues of Croatia to the first division so I'm very happy that I've improved my game in these past few years," he said.
"I'm working hard, I'm improving my game every year and this is the reward I get."
Mrcela has kept an eye on the Socceroos, and was particularly impressed by their displays in winning the Asian Cup.
But he believes Ange Postecoglou's men can get even better.
"I watched Australia at the World Cup and the Asian Cup and they did excellent progress," Mrcela said.
"World Cup was a pretty tough group but they played good football, especially against the Netherlands.
"Asian Cup a fantastic achievement – good football, disciplined tactically, and they improved in that view with Ange Postecoglou. There's more to come from the Socceroos."comments