Aussie Elder planning to Pep up Socceroo prospects

If Bert van Marwijk is looking to add depth to his Socceroos defence ahead of the FIFA World Cup, he might want to tune in when Manchester City take on Wigan in the FA Cup later this month.

Callum Elder

Wigan's Australian defender Callum Elder Source: Getty Images

Should he do so, the Dutchman is likely to get a handle on what the League One leader’s Sydney-raised left-back Callum Elder has to offer.

The uncapped 23-year-old is on a season-long loan from Leicester City, and was a standout in the nominal ‘giant’ killings of Bournemouth and West Ham United in the third and fourth rounds.

He scored the Latics’ third in the 3-0 victory over Bournemouth and garnered rave notices in the 2-0 victory over the Hammers.


The arrival of Pep Guardiola and his traveling minstrels at the DW Stadium on February 24, offers Elder - assuming he’s fit and picked - a golden chance to shine for his club and just maybe grab van Marwijk’s attention.

The significance of facing the runaway Premier League leaders isn’t lost on Elder.

“It will be far our toughest game yet but what an opportunity to play against one of the best ever teams that’s been put together this season.

“To see the last two balls come out of the draw as ourselves and Manchester City was quite humorous, to be honest.

“But it’s an incredible chance to test ourselves against arguably the best team in Europe on current form.

“They want to win everything and are still on course for the quadruple - but by no means will we be lying over for them to get through to the quarter finals.

“They’re a joy to watch and for any neutral fan it’s hard to look past Kevin De Bruyne, as the player who makes them click best.

“You’d love to be on the same pitch as him.”

Elder, who has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season, is hoping to force himself into the Socceroo mix alongside the likes of regular call-ups Aziz Behich, Alex Gersbach and Brad Smith.

With van Marwijk assessing his options through fresh eyes after succeeding Ange Postecoglou, Elder, who had loan spells at Brentford and Barnsley last season, knows he might be in with a shout.

“It’s nice to have a bit of recognition on the back of my performances this season,” he said.

“All I can do is keep my head down, keep working hard and hopefully continue those performances.

“It would be huge for me if, at some point, I am rewarded with that recognition in the national team.

“It’s something I want to achieve. I am an Australian boy over here in England but one day I want to be putting on that Socceroos jersey.

“I know there’s lots of competition. But at the end of the day it’s for your country and you want your country to be a strong as possible.

“I am just looking forward to seeing what the future holds, and continuing my development.

“Hopefully the new boss can come watch the European boys in their respective leagues.”

Yet to make his debut for parent club, the Foxes should their faith in him by tying him to a three-year contract extension last August.

He is locked in tussle for the Wigan left-back spot with Reece James, who has made 19 league appearances.

“I’m just happy to be part of squad that’s been doing so well,” he added.

“I had a great run in the team a couple of months ago and have not played as much as I’d have liked since then.

“But the bigger picture is the team is doing so well.

“That was the case when I was in the team, and also out of the team.

“It’s frustrating in the sense that you want to play every week but to be part of a squad achieving great results each week is really important.

“We’ve only lost three games all season.”

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
4 min read
Published 5 February 2018 at 4:51pm
By Dave Lewis