It’s set to be a busy off-season for new Socceroos star Riley McGree.
Fresh from making his debut in Australia’s dominant 3-0 win over Kuwait on Friday, he’s gearing up to be a key figure in Australia’s qualification journey and is likely to then play a crucial role in the Olyroos midfield at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Potentially yeah (it could be a busy off season),” the 22-year old said.
“You never know obviously the squad hasn’t been announced yet but hopefully I am involved.”
“If I was to be involved it would be another great honour and something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.”
With some of the Olyroos squad currently over in Spain, the former Adelaide United midfielder is using the time in the senior setup as an opportunity to prove himself to Graham Arnold.
“Every day is a chance to impress,” McGree said from Australia’s Kuwait hub.
“Not only a chance to impress others but a chance to impress myself and grow as a player.
It may have only been a short cameo off the bench from McGree but he looked lively, coming close to winning a penalty after going down in the area, and that chance has left McGree desperate for another opportunity to prove his worth.
“It’s a dream come true honestly, it’s a massive honour for me and my family and something I have wanted to do for a long time.” McGree said.
“I’ll be grateful and fortunate for any opportunity I get even if it was eight minutes but I am hungry for more after getting that taste and we’ll see what the future holds.”
And with the Socceroos heavy favourites for Tuesday’s clash with Chinese Taipei, having won 7-1 in the reverse fixture back in October 2019, McGree insists Australia won’t underestimate the world number 141.
“I think we want to approach every game the same, we want to win every game here and we go in confident and ready to score goals and break records in this campaign.”
McGree enjoyed a mixed first season on loan with Birmingham City, he scored within two minutes on his starting debut but McGree was frozen out of the line-up for large parts of the season by manager Aitor Karanka until he was sacked in March.
“It was a challenging season both on and off the field for me personally and for the team but I learned a lot and definitely improved my game.” McGree said.
“But the season ended for the club with avoiding relegation which was a good ending and we go again next season and hopefully finish higher up on the table.”
McGree was essential to Birmingham’s great escape, playing in the Blues’ last seven games and earning himself an extension to loan contract before he returns parent club Charlotte FC in January.
And he hasn’t ruled out coming back to England once he’s done with the MLS.
“I did settle in towards the end and championship football is somewhere that I see myself playing hopefully in the future after my time at Charlotte and moving forward it could definitely be something I could go back to settle in well there.”
Image Supplied: Riley McGree Instagram