Adam Federici believes he is better placed than ever to push for Australia’s top goalkeeping spot – starting against Scotland on Thursday morning (AEST).
The highly-rated Reading keeper, who this month signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Royals until 2015, is convinced the club’s elevation to the Premier League will place him in the limelight and place him on a near equal footing with long-time Socceroos incumbent Mark Schwarzer.
The Fulham custodian is 12 years Federici’s senior at a venerable 39 and while Federici holds Schwarzer in lofty esteem, he is out to ramp up the pressure on his idol.
Speaking in the build up to Australia’s clash against Craig Levein’s men at Edinburgh’s Easter Road, Federici told The World Game: “I hope to rise to the challenge of being in the Premier League now and if I can do well then of course it will put me in a stronger position with the national team.
“It’s my aim to get that No.1 spot at some stage and maybe I will now be in position to exert a little bit more pressure.”
Federici, 27, is hoping for some meaningful game time against the Scots as he hunts his seventh cap for his country.
“It would be great if I could get 45 minutes that would be a bonus. We’ll just have to see what the boss (Holger Osieck) wants to do,” he added.
“It would be a real confidence booster before the start of the Premier League season (The Royals face Stoke City at home next Saturday).
“It’s always been my dream to play in the Premier League.
“I was with the club when we were last there but I wasn’t the No.1 back then and now that I have that privilege I aim to enjoy being in the limelight, playing in a league which so many people around the world watch.
“People know that the Championship is tough and difficult to get out of but it doesn’t really get that much exposure.
“This season we’re in the top flight and we as a team, and myself as an individual, will be under closer scrutiny than ever.”
Federici scoffs at the notion of the game against Scotland being tagged as a ‘friendly’, adding: “We, as Australians, don’t really do friendlies. To us every game is important be it a friendly or a World Cup qualifier and we’ll be going for it.
“Of course, it’s also a great chance to try and few things before the qualifier coming up next month against Jordan (September 11).”
Despite receiving a flurry of plaudits for his performances last season, which culminated in the new contract offer, Federici, who has made 163 appearances for Brian McDermott’s promoted side, refuses to believe the hype and insists he doesn’t read much of what is written about him.
“I really don’t read too much of what people say in the media, whether it’s good or bad. I just try and keep doing what I’m doing.
“It’s all about working hard and then whatever happens happens. I’ve had a good couple of years and the club is obviously on the up. But we know it’s going to be tough season ahead.
“It’s a big step up from the Championship and we’re looking forward to it. It will be a matter of us trying to get some momentum going at home and build from there.”
McDernott says of Federici: “I have known him for a number of years now, it seems like time has flown and he has constantly been developing into a top-class goalkeeper.
“He is a lesson to young pros about what is required to get to the top of your game. His workrate, diligence and desire are second to none and we're delighted he's chosen to commit to us again.”
John Boultbee is set to relinquish his role as Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) Head of National Teams to take up a role as honorary head of World Rowing (FISA).