I won’t give up on my World Cup dream, says Bantams left back Meredith (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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I won’t give up on my World Cup dream, says Bantams left back James Meredith
James Meredith has not completely shut the door on winning a late ticket to the World Cup with Australia.
The City left back played his first game since New Year’s Day when he came on for the second half at Swindon on Monday.
He accepts a place in the Socceroos squad for Brazil is a long shot – but refuses to totally rule it out.
Meredith said: “They are struggling for good left backs. Hopefully, now I’ve got myself fit, I can play a part at the end of the season and my agent will speak to them.
“The ball is more in their court than mine. I can only do what I have to and come back the best I can.
“But we’ll see how it goes. They don’t name the squad for a while and there are still a few more friendlies.”
New Aussie coach Ange Postecoglou has already signalled his intentions to freshen up the national team. Meredith was in the Craven Cottage crowd to see the 4-3 defeat to Ecuador last month when former Bantams loanee Curtis Good made his debut.
Left back is one of Australia’s problem positions. Current choice Jason Davidson, who plays in Holland, is only 22 and the Fulham friendly was just his fourth international cap.
Meredith’s claims for a call-up were growing until the training injury in early January which saw him break a bone in the top of his right foot.
Postecoglou had already scheduled a visit to Valley Parade later that month but it proved a wasted trip because the defender was laid up with a protective boot and Preston’s Neil Kilkenny, his other target, was sent off inside half an hour.
Meredith said: “I’ve had one injury and one illness in seven years and they’ve both come in successive seasons in January – both at pretty much the exact same time.
“It was a pretty bad break but I’ve worked really hard to get back and hopefully I can do the best I can in these last two games.
“It felt great to play again on Monday. It was a bit different playing centre midfield but I got some miles under my belt.
“I played that role for York in my last season there when we did really well and got promoted. But I haven’t done it since.”
Meredith’s Valley Parade future should become clearer in the coming weeks. He is out of contract, like so many in Phil Parkinson’s squad, but City are understood to be very keen on hanging on to him.
He added: “There’s been some talks but we’ll see how things go.
“I think they are just winding down the end of the season before the gaffer sorts everyone’s contracts out and we find out who he’s keeping and who he’s not.
“The team were waiting to make sure we stayed up first.”
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