New Socceroo Milos Degenek says the Football Association of Serbia is still trying to persuade him to switch allegiance but insists he’s settled on Australia.
The Croatia-born 22-year-old, who has played for Serbia at youth level, was this week named in Ange Postecoglou’s squad for the first time.
Degenek has pledged his allegiance to Australia and labeled the call-up “a dream come true”.
The 1860 Munich midfielder revealed to FourFourTwo that Serbia has been in regular contact with him lately.
“They last time they called me was about a fortnight ago as they’ve got qualifiers soon,” Degenek told FourFourTwo.
“In this period, I always kept getting calls from the Serbia managers and the people from their FA trying to persuade me and asking me ‘what’s happening?’.
“Now everything has worked out fine I’m pretty happy to be honest.”
Degenek may have been lost to Australian football after three and a half years outside the national set-up, having played with the Joeys in 2011.
It wasn’t until last year’s failed Olympics campaign that he was recalled at youth level.
“There was a long period I wasn’t involved, it was almost four years I wasn’t in the set-up,” he said.
“Then (Aurelio) Vidmar gave me the call to the Olyroos and I really enjoyed it there.
“I was glad to be back. Now I’m in the Socceroos, it really is full circle. Hopefully it can stay like that.”
Degenek insisted he was always wanted to play in the green and gold.
“I was never in doubt, to be honest, to play for Serbia or anyone else, Australia has given me the chance,” he said.
“I lived there 11 years and played with the Joeys and Olyroos, It was a matter of time.
“I was hoping to get a call and everything would be settled.”
Given his versatility, Degenek may get an opportunity to make his debut against England, with Postecoglou only naming two recognized centre-backs in the squad.
Degenek’s call-up caps a brilliant week for him, with his club 1860 avoiding relegation in the 2.Bundesliga last weekend in the penultimate round with victory over Paderborn.
“It’s a bit more relaxed and the atmosphere has improved at the club,” Degenek said.
“It’s been a really really good week for me with everything that has happened.”comments