Call-up for Australia adds spark for Bradford City’s Meredith

Bradford City's James Meredith, left,.
Bradford City's James Meredith, left,.
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JAMES MEREDITH’S first call-up to join the Australia squad did not bring his international debut. Nor did it yield any points towards World Cup qualification as the Socceroos slipped to defeat in Jordan.

But, the Bradford City left-back insists last week’s experience was one that he thoroughly enjoyed.

“It was really nice to be around the squad even though I didn’t play,” said the 27-year-old, who is expected to return to the Bantams’ starting line-up today at the Keepmoat.

“I found it good to see how the best players in the country train and how they go about the camp. I wouldn’t say it was daunting, it was a bit surreal if anything. I was a little bit apprehensive at first, but all the lads were first class and eased me in.

“They were really welcoming, which is a bit of an Aussie attitude. Everyone talks to each other. There was a really good atmosphere and team spirit which was good to see.”

Australia are four points behind Jordan in Group B following last week’s 2-1 defeat with a game in hand. However, passage to the next stage is not expected to unduly trouble the Aussies due to the top two going through to the final group stage.

Meredith’s call-up – achieved on the back of a fine run of form in Bradford colours – means he is firmly in the running to remain part of his home country’s World Cup plans.

To do so, however, he realises that continuing to perform well for City is paramount.

“I am really raring to perform well for Bradford,” said Meredith, who hopes to be part of the Australian squad that will host Kyrgyzstan before travelling to Bangladesh in mid-November.

“Hopefully, I will get watched again now I know I am on the radar. I am going to do my best at club level and try to put in those performances to get selected again because that would be a fantastic thing.

“I don’t get home that often and I am sure my family would come up, whether I am playing or not, to see me and say ‘hello’. That would be fantastic. It already feels like a dream come true just being a part of it.

“To be part of it again in Australia would be even better and I will do everything I can to make that happen.

“It has ignited a bit of a spark for me. It has given me extra motivation and made me hungrier to carry on achieving things both at club level and with the national team. Now it is straight back into doing the best I can for Bradford.”