Perth Glory attacker Chris Ikonomidis has set his sights on adding an extra dimension to Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos attacking game plan at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.
The 23-year-old was one of 13 players to take part in the Caltex Socceroos’ first training session in the United Arab Emirates as preparations for Australia’s AFC Asian Cup defence continue.
The six-time Caltex Socceroo has been in red-hot form in the Hyundai A-League, scoring six goals in just nine matches for the table-topping Perth Glory.
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And Ikonomidis, who is one of three Hyundai A-League players in Arnold's squad, is confident he can replicate that sort of form in the green and gold in the UAE after a meticulous 2018 designed to get him to the showpiece tournament.
“I’d love to get on the pitch [at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™] and show Australia and Asia what I can do and to bring something new to the team, something dynamic,” he told www.a-league.com.au.
“It [selection] was something that I have been working towards for months now, it’s something that I have planned.
“It’s always been a little goal in the back of my mind every day when I was doing the little things, preparing for training, preparing my diet… to get that good news and that reward from hard work is fantastic.”
Ikonomidis added that getting a call-up to Arnold’s squad for the tournament felt “fantastic” and that he is eager to get going.
“I can’t wait to get on the pitch … and start working," he added.
“The biggest joys you get in your career, I believe, are with the national team.”
Australia begins their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ campaign with a clash against Jordan on Sunday, January 6 (10:00pm AEDT).