If Rhyan Grant runs out in a Green and Gold jersey later this week, there’s every reason to start calling him Mr Caltex Socceroo 2019.
The flying Sydney FC full-back has featured in every international match for Australia this calendar year heading into the final contest of 2019 against Jordan on Friday, 15 November AEDT.
Since he replaced Josh Risdon at half-time in the AFC Asian Cup opener on January 6, Grant has not even missed a single minute of Caltex Socceroos action across nine matches.
Such is Grant’s focus on getting a result in the Caltex Socceroos’ fourth FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier, it’s an achievement that almost slipped off the 28-year-old ’s radar.
“If you play for the national team you are always over the moon,” Grant said.
”If I get the chance to play again this week coming, I’ll have played all of the games this year. It will be something special.
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“I suppose it’s something you don’t really look at, but now you mention it’ll be quite a good achievement for myself.”
Graham Arnold’s side have assembled in Amman where preparations begin to play Jordan in Group B of Asian Qualifying Round 2 on the Road to Qatar 2022.
Having already logged wins against Kuwait, Nepal and Chinese Taipei in the campaign, scoring 15 goals along the way, Grant believes the Caltex Socceroos are slipping seamlessly into international mode.
“There’s been a few games over the last couple of months so it’s great to get into camp and see everyone again,” the Hyundai A-League player added.
“We had a pretty tough week knowing we had the bye at weekend at Sydney so we got some good hard sessions in and a few in-house games to keep the legs ticking over.
“Then we had a few days off to refresh so we’re feeling good going into this game.
“All of the boys are coming in at different times from all over the globe so I think [on Monday] we’ll get the legs going and do a little bit of recovery.
“Everyone keeps fit at their clubs so it’s about getting the body right in preparation for the game this week.”
With the Caltex Socceroos squad uniting from all corners of the globe, Grant spent time at a football camp for local underprivileged kids while waiting for the rest of his teammates to arrive in the Middle East.
The community program helps young boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 14 to play football three times a week, and Grant and Risdon were special guests at the session at the headquarters of the Jordan Football Association, held in association with the Australian Embassy in Jordan.
“For me, to see different cultures in different countries is always great and to be able to help out where I can is also nice,” he added.
“It’s a nice morning to spend with the kids and there’s a few good talents running around and a few embarrassing me which is not always nice. They are putting on a show for us, which is really nice.
“The language barrier is a little bit different, but a few [kids] speak English so we’re having a few jokes. It’s really nice to get down here and represent the Socceroos on a world stage and really help out where we can.
“They brought up the Matildas being here and we saw the impact they made so it’s nice that we can get down here and spend a bit of time.
“There are boys and girls down here so it’s nice to see everyone join in with their football.”
Next Match – Caltex Socceroos – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ – Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2
Jordan v Australia
Date: Thursday, 14 November 2019
Venue: King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman, Jordan
Kick-off: 6.00pm (local); 3.00am AEDT – Friday, 15 November 2019
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS, ABC TV, Kayo Sports, and via the My Football Live App, Live, Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
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