It’s been some 24 hours for Luke Brattan. He scored a goal against Melbourne Victory in the Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday night, helped Melbourne City qualify for the Cup final and has now been named in the Caltex Socceroos squad.
Brattan is one of five Hyundai A-League players selected in Ange Postecoglou’s 30-man squad for next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Thailand.
While City teammate Tim Cahill’s selection is no huge surprise, Right-back’s Josh Risdon (Perth Glory) and Jason Geria (Melbourne Victory), and Brisbane Roar’s Tommy Oar are back in the squad.
Their selection is a great reward for their excellent form over the opening three rounds of the new Hyundai A-League campaign.
Brattan has arguably been the pick of the crop.
Having endured a difficult 12 months abroad, the 26-year-old has excelled on his return to the competition and deserves his shot in the green and gold.
He has produced a string of fine performances in City’s midfield, taking over from where Aaron Mooy [now at Huddersfield in England] left off last season.
As well as his goal against Victory in the Cup on Tuesday, Brattan also scored against them in the 4-1 demotion derby triumph in the Hyundai A-League 10 days earlier.
Brattan adds to a plethora of options for Postecoglou in midfield, with the likes of Mooy, Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Tom Rogic and Jackson Irvine.
It’s his first call-up to the Caltex Socceroos squad since he was an injury replacement for skipper Mile Jedinak before last year’s World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in Perth.
It’s also a long-awaited return to the national team set-up for Roar flyer Oar.
There is no better sight than seeing the 24-year-old flying down the wing and getting crosses in, and that’s what we’re starting to see more consistently from Oar this season.
While Oar has 28 Caltex Socceroos caps to his name, he has started just once for Australia since the start of 2015.
His decision to return to the Hyundai A-League centred on reigniting his international career and it has paid off for the ex FC Utrecht and Ipswich Town player.
He’s started the last two matches for Roar in the A-League – playing both on the left and right flanks – and has made nine crosses, five key passes and four successful dribbles.
Risdon and Geria are the other two returning faces in the squad from the Hyundai A-League and are likely to battle for the right-back position with Ryan McGowan and Milos Degenek.
It’s a position that Postecoglou has yet to settle on his first choice and the pair have certainly put a strong case forward with their starts to the campaign.
Risdon, 24, has already played three times for Australia and was a part of the squad for the qualifiers against Iraq and UAE in September.
Geria’s only senior international cap came in the friendly against Greece in Sydney earlier this year.
And the pair both suit Postecoglou’s style.