Joshua Brillante launches into a kick for the Young Socceroos against Mexico.
Joshua Brillante launches into a kick for the Young Socceroos against Mexico. Contributed

Brillante eyes a Kewell match-up

FORMER Bundaberg lad Josh Brillante is hoping his good form with the Young Socceroos will translate to a dream match-up with Aussie star Harry Kewell.

Brillante said he idolised the Socceroos, former Liverpool and Galatasaray midfielder and the A League would benefit from the signings of Kewell and Brett Emerton.

"It would be great if I get to play against Harry and Brett," Brillante said.

"Especially if I got to play Melbourne Victory and Harry Kewell was playing left-wing and I got to play right-fullback - that would be a good experience."

Brillante toured Japan recently with the Young Socceroos and played friendly matches against Japan, Mexico and regional side Shizuoka.

The young utility said his debut for Australia was a special moment and it was great to be a part of such an exciting squad.

He said he enjoyed the cultural experience of Japan and the opportunity to play in world-class stadiums.

"The locals were great. Sometimes we got to go for a walk and, when we wore our gear around, people would come up and talk to us and they treated us really well," he said.

"They took around 18-20 players and I played two full games and in the other game I played most of the match."

The squad was chosen with an eye on the 2013 Under-20 World Cup in Turkey and Brillante's selection was a sign selectors have him in their sights.

To qualify for the World Cup, Australia must finish high in the Under-19 Asian Football Confederation Championships held in Malaysia next year.

The announcement for the Asian Championships squad is expected soon and qualifying will be held from October 31-November 8.

Brillante debuted for Gold Coast United last season, playing two games.

He spent the off-season training with the top squad and said he hoped to establish himself as a regular first team player.

"I'm hoping to play as many games as I can in the A League," he said.

"Hopefully if I can keep training hard and playing well, I can be in the starting 11 week in, week out."

Brillante said the step up to A League football was a learning experience for him but he could see the benefits in his football already.

"Players are smarter and the speed of play is quicker and sharper. Your game steps up when you train and play with better players," he said.


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