It's Dutch and go for Hrustic in quest to become Socceroos regular

Freshly-minted Socceroos midfielder Ajdin Hrustic is primed to take the next step in his burgeoning career, with the new Eredivisie season offering him the chance to nail down a national team spot.

Ajdin Hrustic

Ajdin Hrustic in action for Groningen last season Source: Getty Images

But first the exciting 21-year-old winger must become a regular for Dutch club Groningen, who kick off their campaign against local rivals Heerenveen - the new home of Marco Rojas - on Monday (AEST).

Hrustic, who resisted the advances of Bosnia and Herzegovina to pledge his loyalty to the land of his birth, made his Socceroos debut off the bench in June's 4-0 friendly loss to Brazil.

He was a member of Australia's 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup squad after that, but didn't manage any match minutes in Russia.

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But he soaked up all he could and, having featured regularly off the bench during pre-season, is eyeing his first starting eleven spot after seven substitute appearances last season, with a goal on debut.



Hrustic is preaching patience as he plots the path ahead.

"I don't expect to be playing every game from the start right now, but I think I will be coming in and trying to do a job," Hrustic said.

"But you never know what the coach will decide. 

"I only have seven games under my belt, so I will take it step-by-step.

"At some stage, I'm sure I will get my run and my first starting minutes."

Hrustic believes he's in the right league to advance a career which abounds with promise.

"I think it's a great league, a lot of young players come through here and develop the right way," he said.

"As a club, we'll be aiming for the Europa League. We qualified the season before last, and I believe I'm at the right club to keep moving forward.

"Without them, I might have not been called up for the Socceroos in the first place.

"I'm going to work hard and give everything. If good things happen, then they will happen."



Though he didn't feature in Russia, as Australia bowed out at the group stage, Hrustic described the adventure as the "biggest experience" of his young life.

"We had three massive games against Germany, Cameroon and Chile, who especially I think we should have beaten," he said.

"It was great to be a part of the squad in such a massive tournament, and the World Cup qualifier (against Saudi Arabia) before that.

"Time will tell what happens from here, but it's just an honour to be involved with Australia in any way I can.

"I don't regret for one second choosing them (ahead of Bosnia, where his father was born)."


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3 min read
Published 13 August 2017 at 12:33pm
By Dave Lewis