Tomi Juric: My best is still to come for the Socceroos

Tomi Juric: My best is still to come for the Socceroos

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Tomi Juric wants to play a greater leadership role for the Socceroos leading into and at the 2019 Asian Cup, declaring he still has plenty to give at international level. 

Now 27, Juric shapes up as one of the more senior figures in Graham Arnold’s Socceroos squad, one with an eye to regeneration.

Of the players currently in camp in Dubai ahead of a friendly against Kuwait on Monday, Juric’s 38 Socceroos caps make up the fifth-most of any player.

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In a playing sense alone, Juric has been severely hampered by injury troubles at club side FC Luzern in Switzerland, where he has made two substitute appearances since the World Cup.

Those knee and hamstring problems hardly represent ideal preparation for the international scene, particularly with a new manager and a major tournament on the horizon.

But down on numbers at No.9 and with a new batch of players being brought in, Juric insisted he can be the one to make the difference in green and gold.

“Up until now, things have been quite well … Asian Cup and an Asian Champions League to come, which is something that I’m very proud of,” the striker said.

“I’m definitely looking forward to going into this next tournament, this Asian Cup here in the UAE to make sure we make a big impact and go all the way into the final.

“That’s definitely our goal and mine personally as well and I still think there’s a lot for me to give in the future.

“Hopefully I can build on what I’ve been doing at my club now just a step at a time and see where it takes me.”

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In Russia, Juric started one of Australia’s three group games – against Peru – and was brought on as a substitute against France and Denmark.

However, he failed to find the back of the net with Australia’s only two goals scored by now-retired Mile Jedinak from the penalty spot.

Jamie Maclaren missed out on the squad due to a back injury, while Andrew Nabbout, who was used as a makeshift No.9 in Russia, has only just recovered from a shoulder injury, albeit ahead of schedule.

Two attackers – Awer Mabil and Martin Boyle – make up part of the newer breed and are two of the five uncapped players in Arnold’s side, along with PEC Zwolle’s Denis Genreau, Barnsley midfielder Kenny Dougall and Melbourne Victory defender Thomas Deng.

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