Smith can't wait to take on England

Liverpool and Socceroo defender Brad Smith says that he’s buzzing about the prospect of playing against England in May at Sunderland and hopes to give some stick to his English club teammates if Australia gets the win.

Smith, 21, recently impressed in his national team home debut for Australia in the recent World Cup Qualifying game against Tajikistan and followed that up by playing in his home town of Sydney against Jordan.

The six capped Socceroo played for England’s U17, U19 and U20 sides as his parents are English.

But when it came to senior national team honours the Penrith born left back instead chose to play for the country of his birth making his debut for the Socceroos against Belgium under Ange Postecoglou in a friendly in 2014.

 Looking ahead to the May fixture, Smith was hopeful of being part of the blockbuster clash when the Socceroos take on England.

“I’d really like to be involved in the England game and play a few of the boys that I play with at Liverpool,” he said.

“And if we beat them I’d give them a bit of stick. I spoke to Jordan Henderson and they are all really happy that we got the game and it should be a good game. I have a feeling we’d give them a good go. 

“I’m just happy to be in (the Socceroos) camp because obviously there are left backs that have played and done well so we’ll see what happens for the next game.”

Since returning back to Liverpool this season after being on loan to Swindon Town last year, Smith has mostly featured in Liverpool’s Cup ties with his only Premier League appearance as a substitute against West Ham in January.

With Alberto Moreno the number one choice at left back for the Anfield side Smith understands that breaking into Liverpool side as a regular will be a tough task.

“It’s a big club and I’m not in the squad every week,” he said. “The manager sat me down and told me that is what is going to happen because there are big players there. But every chance I get I’m enjoying it and I’m in most of the squads just missing out sometimes and playing sometimes and I’m enjoying it a lot.

“Klopp is a great manager and his given me my chances to start and so far it’s going well. He’s real hands on with the players. Individually he talks to you about what he’s thinking and the things that you need to work on. And obviously I need to work on my defensive play because going forward he really likes that.

And during his time playing for the Socceroos Smith has noticed some parallels with Jurgen Klopp his manager at Liverpool and Ange Postecoglou.

“To be honest they actually play very similar,” he said. “They like to press very hard and the tempo is always fast so it’s good.

“Ange likes the full backs to play wide and the two strikers inside of Timmy (Cahill) -  he likes them to keep narrow so we have double runners out wide and it seems to work quite a bit. 

(At Liverpool) we go round and wide, but with the Socceroos we tend to go through the middle then wide, so it’s similar but it’s different.”

  • Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.