After a forgettable season, Western United defender Josh Risdon is hoping to return to his best and put his name back in front of national selectors.
Risdon played just three games last season, with two major injuries leaving him on the sidelines for most of the year.
He admits it was a frustrating season.
“It was pretty tough for me last season, obviously being injured for most of it,” he said.
“I had two bad injuries. The first one kept me out for six to seven months which was the most frustrating thing.
“I obviously wanted to play games and sitting on the sidelines was not very fun. I got myself back fit from that initial injury and feeling really good to get my second one third game back wasn’t ideal.
“We tapered off towards the end of the season and it was hard to watch not being able to help to get the team into finals.”
Risdon said he had worked hard to get his body right and he had been fully fit from the start of pre-season.
He said things were going along nicely under new coach John Aloisi.
“I think we’re six or seven weeks in now,” he said.
“The body is holding up good and I’m staying injury free which is nice.
“There’s a lot of new faces, new players and staff. Aloisi being the new coach and he wasn’t here from the start as he had to quarantine.
“Once he came in he brought in Hayden Foxe as well and they are really driving the sessions and it’s been great.
“I know a lot of the guys are impressed with the sessions that we’re doing and the intensity. It’s a long pre-season but they’re keeping it enjoyable for us.“
Risdon, who became a father for the first time this year, said his first aim this season was to try and play some consistent soccer.
“That’s my first and foremost goal,” he said. “I want to do more than that, I want to stand out a big part of helping this team do well.
“I think we’ve got a really good squad this year and we can challenge for a trophy. Being part of that and now being one of the experienced boys in the team, now I’ve got to help out the younger boys and be a leader at the club.“
Risdon also has his eyes set on a recall to the Socceroos squad. He was part of the Socceroos team at the last World Cup.
“A big goal of mine when I came to Western United was to get back into the Socceroos squad,” he said.
“I got into a camp last year, but obviously things were out of our hands with COVID-19 situation.
“Towards the back of end of last year they started to play some more games and then being injured wasn’t ideal as I hadn’t played enough games.
“It’s definitely a goal of mine to get back fit and get my name in and among the national team again. We have the World Cup next year and going to that last one has made me hungrier to go to another one.
“Hopefully I can stay injury free and put out some good performances and get to go again.”