Tomi Juric is ready to step up for the Socceroos off the back of a break-out A-league season and a starring role in Western Sydney Wanderers AFC Champions League campaign.
The 23-year-old striker enjoyed an awesome August, scoring crucial goals for the Wanderers and the A-League All Stars against Juventus.
His second-leg penalty against Asian powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande sealed the Wanderers’s pregress through to the ACL semi final.
Now Juric in on the brink of lining up against European heavyweights when the Socceroos take on Belgium in a friendly on Friday morning in Leige.
The clash would pit the rising striker’s guile against the likes of Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany and Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen.
“August was a good month for me,” an excited Juric told footballaustralia.com.au from the Socceroos camp on Tuesday.
“I worked really hard in pre-season and set myself a goal to be at a certain level once we reached the Champions League campaign.
“I managed to score the penalty against Guangzhou and I did well in the All Stars.
“Scoring in the All Stars (game) helped me lift my confidence a bit and gave me some confidence in myself after such a hard year last year coming back from injury.
“I got off to a great start thanks to having a great pre-season and I’m hoping to keep that going for the season now.”
Juric is likely to grab his opportunity with both hands after injury ruled out strikers Josh Kennedy and Adam Taggart from Ange Postecoglou’s 20-player squad.
To date the Wanderers’ ace has had to content himself with three caps at the 2013 East Asian Cup but is now gunning to make his mark against the Red Devils ahead of the Asian Cup in January.
Tim Cahill is likely to start up front but Juric can expect to be thrown into the action at some point, and admits he’s excited about the challenge.
“It’s something I haven’t experienced at that level but I’m excited by the challenge as well,” Juric said.
“I haven’t been in those waters before and I’d like to test it out.
“As a footballer you always want to play against the best and Belgium are one of those teams with such quality that they have and how many players they have playing in big leagues.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us but I’m sure the boys will put in a great effort and work hard in training to make sure we’re prepared as we can be for these games.
The Socceroos play Belgium on Thursday September 4 at Stade Maurice Dufrasne, Leige 8.45pm (Friday 4.45am AEST) and Saudi Arabia on Monday September 8 at Craven Cottage, London 8pm (Tuesday 5am AEST) with both matches to be broadcast live on Fox Sports.