It’s been a long time between drinks for Melbourne City’s Andrew Nabbout, and he is relishing the opportunity to don the green and gold again for the first time since 2019.
“Im ecstatic and excited to be back in. Its been a while, but I’m back and hungry to go out there and perform.”
Having made his Socceroos debut in 2018, Nabbout would go on to represent Australia at that year’s World Cup in Russia. In what has been a rollercoaster three years defined firstly by injuries, then playing a key role in Melbourne City’s championship run last season, Nabbout reflected on how he has developed as a footballer in that time.
“Going to the World Cup in Russia was definitely the biggest honour I’ve ever had and my ultimate goal is to be on the plane for this one. I’ve had ups and downs since then, a couple of injuries here and there but physically I’m the best I’ve ever felt.
“With more experience, I feel like I’ve matured so much as a footballer. Physically I’m better than I was, mentally I’m better than I was; that experience going to the World Cup and coming back and dealing with football life and trying to impress everyday helped me mature. I feel like I’m in a good place at the moment and excited to be here and put on a performance if given the chance.”
Nabbout is part of a small Australian based contingent in this camp, which includes his club teammates Jamie Maclaren and new signing Matthew Leckie. And he has dismissed any doubts over the trios fitness caused by the A-League Men’s offseason and ongoing COVID issues forcing them out of the previous World Cup Qualifying squads.
“At City we’ve been working extremely hard, in pre-season for 15 weeks and have played a few friendlies. We couldn’t be happier and hungrier to be here and perform.”
He also gave a cryptic warning to the rest of the league, as he shared how the attacking trio have been progressing in pre-season training.
“We’ve been gelling really well in the games, we’ve been linking up and our combinations are really coming together and I now know what they’re both like and I know what I’m looking for when I’m on the ball. They’re both unbelievable players to play with and top professionals, I love being out there, getting our combinations together and gelling together. It’s great to be in the Socceroos together and we are going to inject as much energy as possible.”
For fans wishing to attend Thursday night’s 8:10pm match against Saudi Arabia at CommBank Stadium, tickets are on sale via Ticketek.
The match against Saudi Arabia as well as the match against China will be broadcast in Australia across Network Ten. The match against China will kick off in Sharjah at 2:00am (AEDT) on November 17.
Image Supplied: Melbourne City