Cup glory can help Jeggo forget Socceroos snub

James Jeggo is hoping to ease the bitter disappointment of missing out on Australia’s preliminary FIFA World Cup squad by lifting the Austrian Cup with Sturm Graz on Thursday (AEST).

After a 33-game season for the club lying second in Austria’s Bundesliga, Jeggo can consider himself unfortunate to have fallen short in his bid to make the extended squad of 32 named by coach Bert van Marwijk on Monday.

But Jeggo, 26, has little time to dwell on any perceived injustices as he prepares for his second tilt at domestic silverware, having won the FFA Cup with Adelaide United in 2014.

Four-time winners Graz last won the cup in 2011 - their most recent trophy - but are up against it against Red Bull Salzburg, who already have the league title under lock and key.

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In an ominous omen, they crushed Graz 4-1 at the weekend but Jeggo is remaining upbeat.

“It would mean a huge amount to the club and me personally,” Jeggo said. “Having been here for a couple of years now it’s my first chance of a trophy.

“But we know they are massive favourites, having won the cup for the last three years

“In a way that probably suits us ... it’s a one-off occasion and every time this year when we’ve gone into crunch games needing a result, we’ve achieved it.

“Winning the FFA Cup at Adelaide taught me that these are things you treasure in your career and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting the job done against a team who are a level above in the league.



“Having said that, our record against them over the past couple of years has been decent, other than in one or two occasions.

“We’ve had wins against them and there’s no inferiority complex.”

Jeggo, who will now look ahead to a Socceroos recall heading towards the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in UAE, was in and around the Australia squad under Ange Postecoglou, without winning a cap.

“With Australia, all you can do is perform well for your club and hope that somebody takes notice,” he added.

His future at club level has yet to be determined with a contract extension on the table with Graz, but with significant interest from clubs in some of Europe’s big leagues.

“We need to get the cup final out of the way and hopefully secure second spot and then perhaps we can make a decision and finalise everything.

“There have been conversations with the club for a while now.

“There’s a lot to say for being somewhere where you’re happy like Graz, but I’m also ambitious and I’m at the age where I want to continue testing myself.

“If there’s a chance to maybe take a step up elsewhere then I’m going to want to look at it, and Graz understand that.”


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3 min read
Published 7 May 2018 at 8:30pm
By Dave Lewis