Remarkable turnaround has Vukovic eyeing World Cup

Getting a Socceroos call-up wasn't something Danny Vukovic ever dreamed was possible just a year ago.

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Danny Vukovic Source: Getty Images

Now the Sydney FC goalkeeper hopes to be able to tell his son one day that he played at the World Cup.

Vukovic, whose heroics between the sticks throughout the season helped his club land an A-League premiership and championship double, was named in Ange Postecoglou's 30-member Socceroos squad on Monday.

The squad will be trimmed to 23 ahead of next month's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia, the glamour international against Brazil and the Confederations Cup in Russia.

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If he makes the cut, Vukovic knows he is probably only third in the pecking order behind Genk's Mat Ryan and Stuttgart's Mitch Langerak.

But the 32-year-old is not only determined to prove himself and earn a maiden cap but he is now daring to dream of playing on football's biggest stage.



"If selected in the 23-man squad I want to do well in camp, train hard and be prepared if called upon to play," Vukovic said.

"If I'm not playing I will support all my team-mates and help them prepare. I want to continue improving as a goalkeeper and take my game to the highest level I can.

"For now I'm just delighted to be selected in the 30. Twelve months ago if you said I'd even be considered for a Socceroos squad I wouldn't have believed it for a second.

"And yes, if one day I am able to tell my son I played in the World Cup that would be wonderful."

Winning his first A-League championship, after the heartbreak of three previous grand final loses, capped off what was an emotional 12 months for Vukovic and his family.

His one-year-old son Harley, who was diagnosed with biliary atresia, is now thriving after undergoing a liver transplant mid-season.

Being able to share his success this campaign with his son has only spurred Vukovic on to greater heights.



The gloveman, who received his first Socceroos call-up for the qualifiers against Iraq and the United Arab Emirates in March, admits he never really deserved to be selected before.

But his career-best form this season has been hard for Postecoglou to ignore.

"I knew that to play at my best I needed to lift my game and regain my confidence," said Vukovic while preparing for the friendly match against Liverpool at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.

"A combination of factors from working with Graham Arnold and John Crawley to playing behind a wonderful team all helped with building my confidence back up.

"To be honest I've never been frustrated with not being selected.

"The times I've not been picked I didn't deserve to be so it just made me realise I needed to be better and more consistent.

"Now I'm just delighted with how the last 12 months went.

"After a stint to forget in Melbourne with Victory I've managed to turn things around and have the best season of my career by far.

"Then to top it off we won the championship and now I am selected in the Socceroos squad. I couldn't be happier."


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3 min read
Published 23 May 2017 at 7:03pm
By Philip Micallef