‘I learnt that I can mix myself with the best’: how FIFA World Cup transformed Josh Risdon


Josh Risdon was watching on at home when the Caltex Socceroos won the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Three years on, he was one of Australia’s brightest performers at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Risdon cut his teeth against the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Christian Eriksen in Russia and has since emerged as a key contender to lead Australia’s AFC Asian Cup defence in January 2019.

“It was the highlight of my career,” Risdon said regarding the FIFA World Cup.

“I learnt a lot from not only the [FIFA] World Cup but also the camp before that.

“I learnt that I can mix myself with the best in the world. But nothing’s changed really, I still want to improve and work my way to cementing my spot.”

Risdon returned to Antalya earlier this week as the only current Hyundai A-League representative in Graham Arnold’s 30-man squad.

With the rest of the Caltex Socceroos well into their respective club seasons, the 26-year-old is relishing the return of domestic football down under.

The Western Sydney Wanderers fullback started 18 matches for the Red and Black last season and wants to nail down his spot as Australia’s first choice right back with a strong 2018/19 campaign.

“That’s one of the things in the [Hyundai] A-League – you spend three or four months in the pre-season not getting any competitive games. I’m chewing at the bit to start.

“I have got to keep myself fit and then when the [Hyundai] A-League comes around do well at my club, play well week in, week out so I can hopefully keep my spot in this squad.”