Ryan Edwards hopes his hot form in England’s League One can help push him into selection criteria for the Socceroos.
Edwards has represented Australia at youth level and is the son of former Socceroo and ex-Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards.
The midfielder has been in impressive touch for Burton Albion this season after making the switch from the Scottish Premiership, notching five goals and five assists in 32 appearances.
The 26-year-old nailed the winning goal on Saturday in the Brewers’ 1-0 victory over Fleetwood Town.
Edwards has been called up to national team squads in the past, but is yet to make an appearance at senior level.
The former Perth Glory rookie told FTBL that breaking into the Socceroos remains a strong ambition.
“Yeah, it’s always there," he said. I’ve played at every level and captained at every level, and obviously I want to make the next step and make the senior squad.
“I’ve been knocking on the door I think. The last squad I was in was under Ange, I made the extended squad. With Arnie I made the shortlist for the Asian Cup squad, but that was quite a big group of 40 or 50 players.
“But I haven’t had any contact recently. You just keep playing well for your club and try to do well and knock on the door I guess. But you look at the recent squads, the midfield when everyone’s fit is the hardest position to get into.
“I’m realistic, I look at myself and how I’m performing and you want to deserve your chance when you get called up.
“But you look at who’s getting called up – Rogic, Luongo, Mooy, Milligan, Jeggo in Austria who’s doing fantastic, Musti Amini, Jackson Irvine especially as well. They’re all doing well for their club and the country.
“So it’s a hard one to break at the moment. You see with any injuries in recent camps with Martin Boyle and Kenny Dougall getting called up, it’s good that Arnie is looking at English Championship and League One players, like Harry Souttar.
“So hopefully he’s watching. I’ve had good, consistent performances and to try and get on the radar more is to put your name on the match report with a goal or an assist to get yourself even more known.
“But I feel the way Burton Albion play we play a similar style to the Socceroos with the games I’ve watched, I try and watch as many games as possible as I’m a fan first and foremost.
“And we play a high, intense style of football, proactive with the ball, one of the few teams in League One that want to play the ball on the ground, pass forward and quickly. So it’s a similar style and I think I can help in that regard.”
Born in Singapore, Edwards came through the AIS and then spent four years with English club Reading.
He made seven first-team appearances with the Royals before a loan spell with Perth Glory and then a move to Scotland’s Patrick Thistle in 2015.
Edwards had three years in Scotland but is enjoying his switch south and believes League One is an excellent stepping stone for Australians.
“I think League One is a bit like Scottish football, League One is a little underrated,” he admitted.
“The quality is really good. The likes of Bailey Wright and Massimo Luongo got called up from League One to play for Australia and did well at international level, and we’ve had two Cup games this season against Premier League teams.
“We beat Bournemouth in the Cup and we actually deserved the win. We won 2-0, we played really well and held our own. Then we drew Leicester and they were a different gravy.
“They’re quality, but we lost 3-1 but in the second half we held our own, we had a right go so the quality and standard there in the league is there to do well and like Jackson’s done and get a move after his time at Burton.
“Like Luongo’s done getting his move to QPR and now he’s at Sheffield Wednesday. League One is a good stepping stone.”
Edwards is signed to Burton Albion until the end of the 2020/2021 season but playing at a higher level, and potentially in Europe in the future, is still a goal.
“You look at Cahill and Aaron Mooy coming into the Premier League in their mid to late 20s,” he said.
“It’s something you want to target. I’m really enjoying my time on and off the pitch at Burton so to get promoted with them into the Championship would be fantastic.
“Long-term, you want to go as far as you. Whether that’s in the Championship, the Premier League – it’s always been an ambition of mine to play in Europe one day as well.
"It’s something to look forward to."