‘I learnt that I can mix myself with the best’: how FIFA World Cup transformed Josh Risdon

Josh Risdon was watching on at home when the Caltex Socceroos won the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Three years on, he was one of Australia's brightest performers at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Risdon cut his teeth against the likes of Josh Risdon and Christian Eriksen in Russia and has since emerged as a key contender to lead Australia's AFC Asian Cup defence in January 2019.

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“It was the highlight of my career,” said the Western Sydney Wanderers fullback.

“I learnt a lot from not only the [FIFA] World Cup but also the camp before that.

“I learnt that I can mix myself with the best in the world. But nothing’s changed really, I still want to improve and work my way to cementing my spot.”

Josh Risdon

Risdon returned to Antalya earlier this week as the only current Hyundai A-League representative in Graham Arnold's 30-man squad.

With the rest of the Caltex Socceroos well into their respective club seasons, the 26-year-old is relishing the return of domestic football under new Western Sydney boss Markus Babbel.

Risdon says Babbel has made a big impression at the Wanderers during his short tenure as he attempts to fire the club back into title contention.

“It’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed working with Markus, he brings so much to the club not only in his coaching career but also his playing career," Risdon said.

“He sets very high standards for all us players and I think everyone’s really enjoying working with him this season.

“We’ve also got a lot of changes in the coaching staff and players as well.

“It’s an exciting time for us.”

Josh Risdon