England match-up a dream come true for Risdon


Perth Glory right-back Josh Risdon has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years, with his consistent performances culminating in the chance for the 23-year-old to represent the Socceroos against England on the 28th of May.

After earning his first two caps for Australia in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers against  Bangladesh and Jordan, Risdon has set his sights on a spot for the showpiece in Russia.

“That’s my goal, to stay in the squad,”  Glory’s Young Player of  Season 11 said.

“Keep playing leading up to the World Cup, that’s my main goal, just being involved in each camp is a real positive for me.”

The fullback, who was selected in the PFA A-League Team of the Season this year, is relishing the opportunity to potentially start against England, with the trip set to be his first to Europe.

“It’ll be my first time to Europe, so I’m really looking forward to it,” Risdon said.

“England’s a massive country for football, it’s got so many teams and so much tradition.

“Just being over there in England playing a game in one of the big stadiums will just be unreal for me,” he added.

While the camp with the Socceroos in England will be a great experience for Risdon, he insists the match at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light will be a massive test for the team.

“They’re going to be extremely tough,” he admitted.

“They’ve got a lot of in-form players like Vardy and Kane, it’s going to be a really tough game.”

It’s now 13 years ago since the Socceroos famous 3-1 victory over the Three Lions at Upton Park, a feat not lost on Risdon.

“A lot of my mentors and idols growing up were involved in that game,” the defender recalled.

“So to think that hopefully I’ll be involved in a weeks time will just be a dream come true,” Risdon proclaimed. 

One such idol involved in that night in 2003 was fellow Western Australian Stan Lazaridis, a former player who has nothing but praise for his young compatriot.

“He’s a great, great right back,” the former Birmingham City winger said.

“[He’s] probably been the best right back in Australia for the last three years, I’m not just saying it because he’s right next to me, but it’s what I feel,” Lazaridis added.

Despite the A-League season having wrapped up just over a month ago now for Risdon, the Socceroo is raring to go for the friendly clash next Friday.

“I’ve been ticking over by myself and training with the youth team here,” the 2013 A-League All Star said.

“So feeling pretty fit actually, I’m ready to go.”

Risdon will join up with Ange Postecoglou and his Socceroos teammates on Monday, with a few days to prepare for their long-awaited clash against England.