Sterjovski looking forward
The first five months of 2008 haven’t been that enjoyable on the park for Mile Sterjovski, but at least for the next two weeks, he is hoping to have much more success with the Socceroos.
The first five months of 2008 haven-t been that enjoyable on the park for Mile Sterjovski, but at least for the next two weeks, he is hoping to have much more success with the Socceroos.
Since arriving in England to play with Derby County, the on-field success has been non-existent for Sterjovski, with not one win in that time and the Rams unofficially crowned as the worst team in Premiership history.
And while he has no regrets over that decision, the attacking midfielder is looking forward to his time with the national team, ahead of the birth of his second child in early June.
With the baby due in the first week of June, Sterjovski-s time in camp will be limited, but he is nonetheless keen to show Pim Verbeek his value to the team and help keep Australia at the top of its group in the World Cup qualifiers.
“It-s very important,” when asked how important getting the win against Iraq in Brisbane on June 1 is to the remainder of the qualifiers. “If we win that game we will be high on confidence and then I think we need just another win after that to make sure its (qualification to next phase) is secure.
“The home games are really important, because we know the away games are going to be quite difficult.”
It will be Mile-s first involvement in the qualifiers, having missed the win over Qatar and draw against China and he is desperately hoping the baby will be good and stay on course for its due delivery date.
“Unfortunately I was in the middle of a transfer for the first game and I was injured for the second game. Hopefully I can get one game in before the baby arrives. We-ll see how it works out.”
While Australia has started the qualifiers unbeaten, Mile and the rest of the squad know that the real test will come in the next month and especially the two away games in Dubai and Doha will be most difficult.
“You just never know in this (competition). Everyone expected Iraq to beat Qatar, but they (Qatar) ended up winning 2-0, so you just never what-s going to happen.
“With the squad we have we should be looking at winning these games. We-ve got good depth and a lot of quality players, so we shouldn-t be worried too much, we should only be worry about ourselves and try and get our performance right.
While Sterjovski has yet to work with Pim Verbeek in a camp scenario, his dealings with the Dutchmen has him left him with a good impression and keen to be involved in the next few weeks.
“I have spoken to him (Pim) a couple of times, but it-s mainly been about the situation with my family. I am yet to be in a camp with him, so I am really looking forward to meeting up with him on Monday and having a few sessions with him.
“So far from what I have seen, he is a great coach, really good with man-management and I think he is doing very well to keep the players happy.
Sterjovski is not alone in the squad of becoming an expectant father, with Lucas Neill (twins), Jacob Burns and Josh Kennedy, all becoming fathers for the first time, which is likely to see them miss crucial matches at varying stages of the qualifiers.
However, the former Sydney United and Parramatta Power striker, has seen enough young players come through to suggest that Australia-s depth is now better than its ever been and will be able to get the job done.
“It-s good to see a lot of players coming through, because in the past Australia hasn-t really had that,” he added. “It-s good when they do come through because when the so-called starting eleven can-t make it, there are always quality players to step in and do the job. I think it-s only good for football-s future in Australia.”