Adam Taggart has not worn the green and gold of the Socceroos for five years, when he even featured against then world champions Spain at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Since then, the striker has been a peripheral figure in national team ranks, unable to get back into Ange Postecoglou’s best crop, and so far, the same can be said of Graham Arnold.
But the 25-year-old has a new lease on life in South Korea with Suwon Bluewings, and has wasted little time in settling into life there with goals to boot.
He has four of them in 10 games for Bluewings, along with one assist, and has been working in tandem with K-League legend Dejan Damjanovic up front.
Taggart departed Brisbane Roar and the A-League to sign for the local giants halfway through the season, and in Taggart’s own words, it has been a move worth making.
“It’s been really, really good so far, I think the main reason I like it is because it’s a really big challenge, every day’s tough in training,” he said on Thursday’s Daily Football Show.
“All of the games are played with such a high tempo that you have to be at your best all the time.
“When you’re in that sort of frame of mind, it helps you to improve so it’s been a challenging time and I think that’s why I’m enjoying it so far.”
Even though Taggart has not featured in the Socceroos’ plans recently, issues up front and the lack of regular goal-flow mean Taggart’s name has constantly been linked with a return to the international stage.
Indeed the player has fielded endless questions from the press about such ambitions dating as far back as his second spell with Perth Glory and then into his time in Brisbane.
Nothing eventuated, but this time, a return to the Socceroos fold makes perfect sense.
Arnold’s men will face South Korea in Busan in the June window, right when the K-League will be in the thick of its calendar-year season.
While many of the Europe-based Socceroos – now at the conclusion of gruelling seasons over there – are cooling their heels beachside, Taggart will be in super shape.
Still reluctant to buy into his favourable chances of inclusion, Taggart only went as far as to say he would feel comfortable lining up against the Taeguk Warriors’ defenders.
“I haven’t been in there for five years so I wouldn’t expect to get back in there or anything like that, I’m just working hard and trying to do the best I can here,” Taggart added.
“If you get the reward, then it would be unbelievable because playing for your national team is the biggest privilege you can have.
“It’s the height of where you want to be, so I would be jumping around like crazy if I could make it back in there.
“But I know how tough it is to get in there … if I was to get the chance, of course I would feel quite confident being in Korea now and understanding the Korea style and the way the centre-backs are.
“They’re very aggressive centre-backs, but it’s football, anything can happen and all you can do is put your head down and work as hard as you can.”
The Asian Game podcast co-host Paul Williams said Taggart’s inclusion in the squad to face South Korea should be anticipated.
“Adam Taggart, he’s done exceptionally well since he’s gone to Korea, he’s joined one of the biggest clubs in the country in Suwon, playing alongside one of the legends of not only Korean football but Asian football, Dejan Damjanovic,” Williams said.
“He’ll learn a lot from playing alongside him.
“It’s fantastic to see an Australian striker … go over to Asia and a country like Korea and actually do well and hit the ground running.
“That’ll do wonders for his confidence and all of the sudden puts him back under the national team spotlight.
“You’d expect he’d be in that squad given he’s in the country.”