Stars align for Grant's dream Caltex Socceroos debut

Rhyan Grant’s stars are finally aligning, with a Caltex Socceroos debut clean sheet in his home city of Sydney.

The Sydney FC defender has certainly had to overcome his struggles, recovering from a second ACL injury, but the months of gruelling rehab all paid off with a first international cap in Tuesday night’s 3-0 victory over Lebanon.

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Perhaps more significantly, it provided the opportunity for the 27-year-old to put himself in contention for Graham Arnold’s 2019 AFC Asian Cup squad.

He said: “It’s just over a month until that [the Asian Cup] starts, so you’ve got to go back to club footy, still play at a high level and prove that you deserve to be here.

“So I’ll try my best to do that but yeah, it’s pretty good time to make your debut before a big tournament.”

It was also the ideal venue for Grant at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, while he was able to renew relations with his former Sydney FC boss Arnold and his team.

“I think it did [help]. Obviously the surroundings are pretty familiar,” Grant added.

“To have Arnie [Graham Arnold] and Clarkey [Andrew Clark] and a lot of the ex-Sydney FC people around made the transition pretty comfortable for myself too.”


However, Grant was under no illusions that home comforts were going to make for a relaxing environment for his step up to the international stage.

“The tempo is very high and I suppose the pressure is a lot more,” he added.

“It is pretty intense out there and you’ve got to be on your game and switched on for the whole 90 minutes.”