Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic believes Tomi Juric's recent Socceroos stint has provided a shot in the arm for the new recruit.

New Wanderer Juric eager to improve game

August 19, 2013
By Roje Adaimy

Tomi Juric's first international goal has given the new Western Sydney Wanderer a boost of confidence - but coach Tony Popovic wants more.

The 22-year-old was a surprise inclusion in Holger Osieck's Socceroos squad for last month's East Asian Cup in Seoul, given his limited game time with former A-League club Adelaide United.

But just moments into his second appearance for Australia, Juric found the back of the net in the Socceroos' loss to a classy Japanese outfit.

"That would've given him a lot of confidence," said Popovic, who himself played 58 games for Australia.

"To get a goal for the Socceroos is special and one I'm sure he'll always remember.

"We'll try and help him develop into a good player and hopefully there'll be many more goals for the Socceroos and also for the Wanderers."

Juric, one of three new additions to last season's minor premiers, also scored in his side's 3-1 trial win over Canberra Olympic last Wednesday.

Popovic said the young striker had settled in well and was determined to sharpen his skills.

"He's had a taste of it now, he can see what he has to do to get to the top.

"He's working very hard and the boy wants to improve his game."

The Socceroos have two high-profile friendlies in the coming months, kicking off on September 7 against 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil in Brasilia and France on October 11 in Paris.

While the latter clashes with the Wanderers' season-opener against reigning A-League champions Central Coast, Popovic is hoping some of his players - including Juric - will earn a call-up.

"I'd be a bit of a hypocrite to complain about players going away to the Socceroos, considering the great fortune I had of playing many times for my country," he said.

"We'll always encourage our players to play at the highest level. We'll be honoured if we can see a couple of our players on that plane come June next year - and part of that is obviously preparation for the Socceroos.

"It's up to Holger to decide whether he'll select any of our players but I'm sure he has our players in his sights and that's great for our club."

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