Strike puts Risdon on track for Socceroos goal

Goals like Saturday night’s winner are exactly what Josh Risdon says he needs to add to his game if he’s to go to the next level and possibly play for the Socceroos.

The 22-year-old Perth Glory right-back charged forward before firing home a sublime 88th minute winner in his side’s drought-breaking 3-2 triumph over Western Sydney Wanderers.

It was a welcome reminder of the quality that Risdon possesses, given that at the start of December he was included in Ange Postecoglou’s 46-man provisional Socceroos’ Asian Cup squad.

Australia is not blessed with a wealth of right-back options at the moment. Ivan Franjic leads the way, while Chris Herd, Rhys Williams, – both injured – Josh Brillante and Ryan McGowan are in the mix. 

Postecoglou opted for Tarek Elrich as right-back cover to Franjic for Australia’s latest camp despite the Adelaide United man not being in that provisional squad.

Glory striker Andy Keogh voiced his shock that his team-mate had been overlooked, but Risdon admits his form has dipped of late, like his club’s, although he believed he was returning to his best.

In saying that, he said adding goals like Saturday night’s strike, to his strong defensive game will go a long way to boosting his chances of a call-up.

“Being a full-back these days a lot of coaches like attacking full-backs, so if I can pop up with a goal or two, that’d be very good for me,” Risdon told FourFourTwo.

“I’ve played in the A-League a few seasons now. I need to have a really good solid few years back to back and maybe score a couple more goals.”

Rather than be frustrated by Postecoglou’s preference for Elrich, Risdon added that he was enthused by the call-up of a fellow A-League player.

“It just shows that Ange is looking at the A-League,” he said.

“If you can put a good performance in week-in week-out, which Tarek has done, then he’ll pick you, no matter who you are.

“Hopefully I can get a few good performances and get a place in the squad.”

Risdon, though, insisted he tries not to let his mind drift to Socceroos thoughts too often.

“When I think about it I put too much pressure on myself,” Risdon said. 

“I just want to go out each week and play well for Glory and do the best for the team.”

Risdon recently began studying physical education with a view to becoming a PE teacher when he hangs up the boots.

While that’s not likely for a fair few years yet, it shows he is content in Perth where he is contracted until 2016.

Risdon believes he still needs to improve his game before he follows his dream of trying his luck in Europe.

“I’m very happy in Perth at the moment, obviously it’s my home state and I’ve been here for a number of years now, so I’m very happy,” he said.

“But I always like to look for other things and if anything comes along I’d like to take that opportunity.

“I’m not rushing to get over there. You see people who go over there and come back within a year.

“I want to go over when I’m ready and hopefully stay over for a while. There’s no rush at the moment but if the opportunity comes along I’d definitely take it.”