FORMER Newcastle Jets flyer Andrew Nabbout thinks every day about what it would be like to put on a Socceroos jersey at the World Cup.
“It’s the reason why you work so hard at training,” Nabbout said after a grueling session in Turkey.
“You think about it every day. To be able to put that jersey on, especially at a World Cup, it is the biggest honour a footballer can have.”
The late call-up into camp by Jamie Maclaren has added to the competition for places and Nabbout’s desire.
Maclaren was sunning himself on the beach in Dubai's artificial Palm Islands when summoned into the pre-tournament camp as cover for Tomi Juric, who is nursing a knee injury and could yet be ruled out of contention for Russia.
With Tim Cahill considered a lock for Australia's 23-man squad, it means Juric and Maclaren are now jostling with attacking utilities Nabbout and Nikita Rukavytsya to make Bert van Marwijk's final cut.
"You've seen the kind of quality that Jamie brings," said Nabbout.
"It's good that he's here, it gives us a little bit more competition as well. Now there's one more person to be up against.
“That's what we want, it's the best place to be where the expectations are high, competition is high.
“We've definitely got a few attacking options and we're going to be out there to score goals, that's for sure."
Though yet to score in five international appearances, Maclaren's pace and mobility offers something entirely different to Juric, who is taller, stronger and more adept at bringing others into play.
Nabbout is nominally a winger but scored six of his 10 goals for the Newcastle Jets leading the attack in the absence of Roy O’Donovan and was used as a striker by van Marwijk against Norway in March.
Socceroos players have only one friendly match, against the Czech Republic in Austria on Friday night to impress van Marwijk before he trims four players.
"Before coming in I knew it was going to be competitive, it was going to be fierce at training and it is," Nabbout said. "Tackles are flying in. You want players to be fighting for a spot in that 23.”
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