EuROOvision: Irvine at the double, Ikonomidis looks to make his mark in...

EuROOvision: Irvine at the double, Ikonomidis looks to make his mark in the UAE

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Perth Glory attacker Chris Ikonomidis says he is hoping his club form can translate into minutes at the Asian Cup after an impressive start to the season.

Ikonomidis was rewarded with a place in Graham Arnold’s squad after six goals and two assists from nine A-League appearances.

After arriving at the Socceroos’ training camp prior to their title defence, Ikonomidis said national selection was always in the back of his mind.

“It (selection) was something that I have been working towards for months now, it’s something that I have planned,” Ikonomidis said.

“It’s always been a little goal in the back of my mind every day when I was doing the little things, preparing for training, preparing my diet… to get that good news and that reward from hard work is fantastic.

“When they (Ikonomidis’ teammates) found out the news they were ecstatic – I think every single player came up and congratulated me.

“There are a lot of Socceroos in the squad like (Matthew) Spiranovic, (Ivan) Franjic, Jason Davidson, and many others, so they were all very happy for me.

“The boss, Tony Popovic, also called me into his office just to say congratulations.

“I’d love to get on the pitch (at the Asian Cup) and show Australia and Asia what I can do and to bring something new to the team, something dynamic.”

As the first players arrived in camp, European based players began to say farewell to their club sides, taking part in various Boxing Day fixtures across the continent.

Jackson Irvine boosted his hopes of a starting berth against the opening game against Jordan farwelling Hull City with a double in their 2-1 victory over Preston North End. The midfielder completed the 90 minutes.

Fellow midfielder Massimo Luongo also tasted victory and 90 minutes as Queens Park Rangers put bottom of the table Ipswich Town to the sword in a 3-0 victory.

In the Premier League, Mat Ryan produced a strong display as Brighton came from behind to secure a 1-all draw with Arsenal.

Across in Scotland, Martin Boyle and Jamie Maclaren featured from the start as Hibernian claimed a 1-all draw away to Rangers, Boyle completed the 90 minutes, while Maclaren was withdrawn after 70 minutes. Mark Milligan was not in the matchday squad.

Tom Rogic completed his final 90 minutes for Celtic before linking up with the national team, as the Scottish league leaders came out on top in a thrilling 4-3 result against Aberdeen.

In Belgium, Danny Vukovic was once again in between the sticks as KRC Genk continued their winning ways with a come from behind 3-1 victory over Gent. Vukovic’s side sit 10 points clear at the top of the table.

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