Matthew Spiranovic’s World Cup debut has sparked interest from overseas clubs, but he says staying with Western Sydney is best for Asian Cup ambitions.
Matthew Spiranovic says he still harbours ambitions to play overseas, but feels being at the Western Sydney Wanderers offers him the best chance of a Socceroos call-up for next year’s Asian Cup.
The star defender spent seven years abroad before joining the A-League club last season, including stints in Germany, Japan and Qatar.
Lack of game time – in part due to injury – brought him back to Australia, a move that ultimately earned him a spot in Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for the World Cup.
Spiranovic revealed on Wednesday his appearances in Brazil had sparked some interest from foreign teams, but he opted not to pursue them.
“There was interest, but I don’t think it’d be right to name clubs,” he told AAP.
“I’m happy where I am at the moment.
“I think I’m in the right environment and right fit for me leading up to the Asian Cup.”
The World Cup spawned big deals for a number of young Socceroos, including Brisbane’s Ivan Franjic who joined Torpedo Moscow in Russia’s top flight, and Jason Davidson, who signed with the English Premier League’s West Bromwich on Wednesday.
“I think it’s great for Australian football. It gives hope for every footballer that players can go to a World Cup and land deals in the EPL,” Spiranovic said at the launch of the Wanderers’ new home-and-away strips for the next A-League season.
“I’m still 26 and I still have ambitions to play abroad.
“For me, it’s about finding a club interested in me that suits the way I play, a coach that obviously likes the way I play and wants me to come play regular football.
“It’s not just about joining any club that wants your signature.
“At my age, it’s about playing regular football and that’s what I do look at when I do get interest in other clubs.”
Spiranovic said Wanderers coach Tony Popovic had been a guiding light this past year.
“He knows what it takes to make it overseas, in Europe, and he’s been very influential for me.
“I learned a lot playing under him last season and I still think I have a lot to learn. So I look forward to spending another year under Popa.”
Spiranovic is sidelined with an ankle injury, following surgery last month.
He said he expected to back on the pitch in some capacity for the start of the A-League season in October.
“It’s not ideal to be missing out on the pre-season but, last year, I came a week before the start of the year, I worked hard to get myself right as quickly as possible and played my first game in round five.
“I think it won’t be too dissimilar to that, and I’m confident I’ll be out and about on the pitch very early come the start of the season.”