ADELAIDE United defender Michael Zullo expressed his delight at being a part of the latest Socceroos squad and pushed for a call-up for his United teammate.
New Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou yesterday named the squad that will face Costa Rica, which included A-League players Zullo, Mark Milligan from Melbourne Victory and Ivan Franjic and Matt McKay from Brisbane Roar.
Zullo has not played for Australia since their 3-2 loss to Romania in February, but is a chance to make the squad for Brazil after impressing for Adelaide United in their opening four games.
But the defender says while he’s happy to be back in the squad, regularly playing games in the lead up to Brazil is his main goal.
“Lucky for me this year I’ve been playing in a very talented squad and they’ve all helped me extensively,” said Zullo. “I’m happy to get this opportunity and we’ll see what happens now.
“I’m proud to be in the squad and it’s a reward for being part of a good squad that’s playing good football in Adelaide at the moment. “
Game time was a major reason for Zullo’s return to the A-League after he departed Brisbane Roar for FC Utrecht in Holland back in 2010.
“Game time is invaluable and I’m happy I’ve played four full 90 minutes in a row now and hopefully another one this weekend, depending on what the coach says,” said Zullo.
“That’s the whole reason I came back to Adelaide United, to get some proper game time."
Zullo was surpised that United goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic did not make the squad and pushed for his selection in the camps leading up to the World Cup finals next year.
“He’s one that I think should be in there everytime,” said Zullo. “I’ve played with a lot of goalkeepers and he’s right up there.
“I think there’s only two goalkeepers in the squad when usually there’s three, but I think he’s definitely putting his hand up to be in the next camp and in Brazil next year as well.”
Galekovic's case has become even stronger since Socceroos legend Mark Schwarzer announced his retirement from international football effective immediately.
“It’s a massive decision,” stated Zullo. “I’m not sure what his reasons are behind it, and I definitely think it will come out in time, but it definitely opens up the door for another person and hopefully that’s Euge (Galekovic).”
Adelaide United have played some great football under new coach Josep Gombau but results have not gone their way in the opening four rounds of the season.
But getting three points is the sole focus right now for Zullo when United take on Newcastle Jets on Saturday night at Coopers Stadium.
“A lot of people forget we’ve played some really strong teams so far this season and I think we’ve done well,” said Zullo.
“We dominated last year's grand finalists in two successive games as far as possession is concerned, just not on the scoreline which is the most important one.
“It’s a long season and it’s only been four games but I don’t feel we are where we deserve to be on the football that we’ve played. I feel like we should be a bit higher on the table but that’s the way it goes.
“We’re definitely getting ready to win this weekend.”