It’s Australia Day and it’s bringing out the patriotic side of us.
So we’ve come up with a Caltex Socceroos squad made up of Aussies in the Hyundai A-League.
We’ve gone with a 4-3-3 line-up. What do you think of our side?
Paul Izzo (Adelaide United)
The young gloveman has been superb for Marco Kurz’s side, earning selection in Australia’s U23 squad for the recent AFC Championships in China.
With a 73.3% save rate, two penalty saves and two clean sheets, Izzo is the pick of a raft of excellent keepers in the Hyundai A-League.
A brilliant shot-stopper, Izzo is arguably in career-best form and if the Reds are to go deep in the finals, he’ll have to be at his best.
Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers)
In a Wanderers team that has been up-and-down all season, Risdon has been a model of consistency.
In his first season at the club after switching from Perth Glory, the 25-year-old has one assist, 26 crosses and 15 successful dribbles from just nine appearances this season.
And with five Caltex Socceroos caps already to his name, Risdon is a strong chance to make the squad for Russia later this year.
Rhys Williams (Melbourne Victory)
If not for an unfortunate run with injury through his career, Williams would already have a lot more than his 14 Caltex Socceroos caps to his name.
The 29-year-old has been one of Victory’s best this season and has all the attributes of a rock-solid central defender.
If he can keep up this form right until the end of the season, Victory won’t only go deep into the finals but you’d imagine Williams will be right in the reckoning for a ticket to Russia.
Alex Wilkinson (Sydney FC)
Like a fine wine, Wilkinson just gets better and better with age.
There’s no more reliable defender in the Hyundai A-League than the 33-year-old, who has been a major factor behind Sydney FC’s incredible last 18 months.
“Wilko” is the ultimate professional, shirks no challenge, is a great leader, a superb distributor from the back and has exceptional game awareness.
Michael Zullo (Sydney FC)
As part of the best defence in the Hyundai A-League, it’s hard to keep Zullo out of this side.
The 29-year-old is probably at the peak of his game right now and, like Wilkinson, is a key cog in Sydney FC’s success.
Zullo possesses bundles of energy too get up and down the right flank, has a superb left foot, is a great crosser and doesn’t mind getting stuck in to a tackle as well.
Luke Brattan (Melbourne City)
Brattan is the man that makes City tick, able to control the tempo of a game with his composure on the ball and excellent distribution.
At 27, is another who is in the prime of his career and could be ready to go from fringe Caltex Socceroo and into the squad if he can catch the eye of new boss Bert van Marwijk.
Brattan is a quality anchor in the heart of midfield and is always positive and looking to play forward.
Josh Brillante (Sydney FC)
Has backed up his incredible 2016/17 campaign with another strong output for the league-leading Sky Blues this season.
A real box-to-box midfielder, Brillante has incredible engines in the middle of the park and gets through a mountain of work.
His passing range has improved under Graham Arnold and with a rasping shot has the ability to score from distance.
Daniel De Silva (Central Coast Mariners)
The exciting youngster returned to the Hyundai A-League this season to get regular game time and has taken his game to a new level under Paul Okon.
Incredibly gifted and possessing superb close control, De Silva can break any game open with a piercing run or incisive pass.
In the crucial 10 role, the 20-year-old offers creativity and a goal-scoring threat, the reason why he almost joined Serie A giants Roma in 2015.
Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets)
Another who has blossomed with a change of scenery this season, thriving under Ernie Merrick in the Hunter.
Petratos has always been earmarked as a potential international player since bursting onto the scene as a teenager but appears to be finally living up to his potential.
Has been a major reason behind the Jets’ surge to second on the Hyundai A-League ladder in 2017/18.
Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City)
The bolter of the side, having made just seven appearances so far this season.
But you can’t doubt the 19-year-old’s talent and it’s no surprise City’s mid-season resurgence has coincided with Arzani’s promotion into the starting XI.
Arzani oozes confidence and offers, speed, class and fierce determination. Scored his first-ever Hyundai A-League goal in the win over the Jets on Thursday night.
Andrew Nabbout (Newcastle Jets)
While he can play anywhere across the frontline, Nabbout gets the nod at the point of the attack, where he has filled in admirably for the Jets in Roy O’Donovan’s absence.
His stats this season are mightily impressive. Eight goals and seven assists from 18 appearances.
With speed to burn and an ability to beat his man one-on-one, a green and gold jersey might not be too far away for the 25-year-old.