Top 50 Aussies: I've come a long way, says Luongo
Luongo’s move to QPR, who were relegated from the Premier League, sees him return to the England’s second tier after a three-year absence.
The nimble-footed midfielder features in FourFourTwo's 2015 Top 50 Aussies in the World - a special issue of the mag packed with interviews with our winners, on sale now.
Luongo told FourFourTwo he knows the standard required in the Championship.
“I was there with Ipswich and played 10 games with them a few years ago,” the 22-year-old said.
“To be fair I’ve come a long way since then and I felt comfortable at the level. We weren’t in the best position, I think we were fighting relegation for most of the time, but it’s a top league that offers different football with different teams.
“It will be a massive challenge but I’m confident I can help QPR get to where they want to be.”
Luongo, who spent five months on loan from Tottenham at Ispwich in 2012, scored one goal in 10 appearances in the Championship and League Cup.
The loan was cut short by the Tractors Boys’ manager Mick McCarthy in November 2012 and The Australian returned to Spurs before joining The Robins.
“It’s the right time,” Luongo said of his decision to leave Swindon after three seasons at the County Ground, during which he racked up more than 80 appearances.
Last season was a breakout campaign, which saw him named in the PFA League One Team of the Year, and earned him a spot in our latest FourFourTwo issue featuring Australia’s top 50 heroes.
In a sign of his rising star power, the Aussie also recently linked with global football brand New Balance where he features with Socceroo teammate Tim Cahill.
Speaking of his next challenge, Luongo said: “Obviously it’s not nice to leave all your mates and teammates, but I’ve got one of my mates (Ben Gladwin) coming with me. The transition will be easy and I know the coaches.”
“I had a good time at Swindon and I owe them a lot. It’s nice leaving on a good note.”
Luongo missed Australia’s first qualifier for the 2018 World Cup, away to Kyrgyzstan, through injury but is expecting to be fit for September’s match against Bangladesh in Perth.
The Socceroo admits he knows little about Australia’s opponents, with Kyrgyzstan impressing in their 2-1 defeat at home.
“To be honest I’m probably the worst person when it comes to knowing about other teams,” Luongo said.
“But what I do know is that Australia, especially the staff and Ange won’t take it lightly. We’ll prepare the same way as we prepared to play Germany or South Korea in the Asian Cup final.
“It will all be done the same and we’ll take no liberties. It will be a good game regardless. It’ll be exciting because you end up going to places you’ve never been before, different climates and different experiences and that create different challenges.
“Conditions are a massive factor but we’ll prepare the same way we did for the world champions. We won’t take liberties, we’ll play to win as much as we can. That’s a good thing.
“If we get all these games and qualifiers out of the way with a strong side then we can take that into the next round and then hopefully the World Cup.”
The latest issue of Australian FourFourTwo is on sale Thursday!