Spiranovic credits Popovic for Socceroos recall
Experienced defender Matthew Spiranovic believes his first Socceroos call-up in two years justifies his decision to reunite with Tony Popovic at Perth Glory.
The 30-year-old played under Popovic at the Western Sydney Wanderers from 2013-15 before an injury-plagued stint in China which led to him losing his place in the national team.
Lured to Perth by his former coach last June, Spiranovic first regained his fitness and then became a mainstay in the Glory's dominant A-League Premiers Plate-winning campaign.
The reward came with Socceroos coach Graham Arnold naming him in his squad for this week's friendly against South Korea in Busan.
It's the first time Spiranovic, capped 35 times, has been with the national team since a World Cup qualifier against Thailand in May 2017.
"I wanted to be back in a professional environment again and with Tony Popovic, we obviously both know each other well," he said.
"I was confident once I decided to go to Perth I'd be in the best sort of place to give myself the best chance to get back, to play my best football and that's how it's panned out.
"To be here now is a nice reward."
Another recalled player for Friday's clash is Rhys Williams, who could be partnering Spiranovic in central defence.
Spiranovic said he'll be using his experience to provide leadership within the squad.
"Rhys and I have been in quite a few camps together," Spiranovic said. "We were talking the other day about the old days, back with some of the golden generation, how times flies and how things have changed on and off the pitch.
"Being the oldest naturally you try and take on that responsibility a little bit ... if I can help any of the younger boys I'm more than willing to do so."