Brad over the moon to be a Socceroo

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

First published in Sport The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Chief sports writer

BRAD Smith is delighted about receiving the call to play for Australia, the country of his birth.

Town’s on-loan wing-back was born in Penrith in New South Wales and lived in the country until he was 14, when he moved to England for family reasons.

Smith is a former England youth international and was part of the team that reached the quarter-finals of the U17 World Cup in Mexico.

A serious anterior cruciate ligament injury disrupted the 20-year-old’s progress but he returned to his full fitness in October last year and made his Liverpool debut against Chelsea in December.

Smith last appeared for England’s young lions in the Toulon tournament at the end of last season, helping them to fourth place. He started in the 1-1 draw with Korea and then came off the bench for the win over Qatar and the defeat to Brazil.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou made it known that he wanted Smith to play for the country of his birth and spoke with the player before calling him up last week.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Smith let it be known while he was grateful for opportunities he got playing for England’s youth team he was more than happy to have the chance to pull on the green and gold shirt.

“I didn’t really expect it and got the call-up and I’m over the moon really. My family and all my friends are very proud,” said Smith.

“Obviously, I thank everyone with England and all the staff through the youth levels at England.

“I just decided to play for my homegrown country where I was born as a full international.

“I was born there (Australia) and I moved over here when I was 14 for family reasons. I started playing football over here and went from there really.”

His international boss Postecoglou was clearly pleased with Smith’s decision having been aware of him since he took the job.

“He is a player we’ve been monitoring since I’ve been in the job anyway, and he plays in a position where we don’t have a great deal of depth,” he said.

“He’s very committed to playing for Australia. And after having chats with him we were very keen to get him in the green and gold.

“He’s quick and from our perspective, these games are a chance to maybe expose some young players to international football, and hopefully create some depth in areas where we’re light on.”

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