BARNSLEY midfielder Kenny Dougall is pinning his hopes on some international spin-offs with Australia following his Championship elevation with the Reds.
The Brisbane-born player is concentrating on rehabilitation ahead of Barnsley’s return to the second tier, with his season cut short after sustaining a broken leg in the draw at Doncaster Rovers.
Promotion in his first campaign at the club has helped soften the blow and the 26-year-old is keeping his fingers crossed that the bigger exposure of the Championship will boost his Socceroos bid.
Dougall was called up at the end of August on the back of a fine start to his Oakwell career after a summer move from Holland but an ankle injury suffered in October precluded his involvement in late-autumn internationals with Australia.
Dougall said: “It is at a higher level and a couple of the boys in the national team play in the Championship. It is a great league and I am really looking forward to testing myself.
“My aim is to just get fit. A lot of the boys will be on holiday but my priority is to get fit and ready to go next season.
“I am obviously delighted with the way my first season in England has gone. It is my second promotion, but my first in England. I am buzzing and the folks called me from back home and they are also delighted.
“I started well and got myself in the national squad, which was a nice personal bonus.”
Despite injury misfortune, Dougall insists that his first season in England was enriching even if he had to go easy on the celebrations after Barnsley clinched promotion at the end of April. He added: “A couple of untimely injuries have been a bit disappointing but, overall, I cannot complain.
“I found a seat somewhere in the celebrations as it was something you cannot miss.”