Arzani: ‘I’m as ready as I’ll ever be’
HE'S had just seven A-League starts but Melbourne City teenager Daniel Arzani says he's as ready as he'll ever be for a Socceroos call-up.
And he plans to show his readiness for the big time with a showing on one of the biggest A-League stages - the Melbourne derby.
Arzani, 19, wasn't in his club's plans when the last derby rolled around just prior to Christmas.
He hasn't missed a match since, becoming a permanent member of the City side with whirlwind displays of his talent on the wing.
As it happens, Victory are the only A-League opponent Arzani is yet to face in his seven starts - nine appearances in total - and he can't wait.
"I'm really excited to be playing. Can't wait. It's going to be a crazy atmosphere and it's very exciting," he said.
"I want to go into this derby and just run at players. I'm really happy to be starting and I just hope I can do really well.
"I always had that confidence in myself.
"I just felt like I needed a chance and it was just about working hard at training and making sure I get that chance so when I do I'm ready for it." It could be the only derby he plays in.
Arzani is out of contract at season's end and has been tipped by teammate Luke Brattan to pursue a deal overseas to fulfil his undoubted potential. Despite the hunger of local fans eager to see Australian football's 'next big thing', Arzani expects to be booed at AAMI Park.
"I always expect to get booed. I even get booed in Perth, Brisbane, whatever. It's all good," he said.
"I'm not sure (why it happens). I've heard a couple of different reasons as to why.
"I think the opposition just boo you because they don't want to see you doing well.
"It's not a big deal it helps me if anything, I get a bit fired up."
Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk is expected to name an extended squad for the March friendlies with Norway and Colombia over the weekend.
At the time of the last derby, it would have been laughable to suggest that Arzani's name would be among those selected.
Now, it would seem negligent for the Dutchman not to call the Sydney-raised teenager into camp just to get a look at him.
Arzani, who is also eligible to play for Iran, didn't definitively answer whether he would represent Australia if asked but said he was waiting for a call.
"I'd be very happy to get called up and I feel like I'm as ready as I'll ever be," he said.
"I think I can be a bit better physically but my mindset is as good as it's going to get."