It’s been almost a year since Scott McDonald featured for the Qantas Socceroos and the Middlesbrough striker is elated to have been handed another chance to impress in green and gold.
It-s been almost a year since Scott McDonald featured for the Qantas Socceroos and the Middlesbrough striker is elated to have been handed another chance to impress in green and gold.
After featuring in seven FIFA World Cup qualifying matches en route to South Africa, McDonald has arrived in Scotland eager to cement his squad position ahead of identical high-stakes fixtures in the coming months.
“I-m absolutely delighted to be back, it-s been a while since I-ve been a part of the squad,” said McDonald.
“I-m looking forward to getting my teeth into it and hopefully making an impression to try and stake a claim to keep my spot in the squad.”
McDonald has returned to the country where he was so dominant before linking with his current employers, Middlesbrough, in 2010.
It was in 2004 that McDonald-s breakthrough came at Scottish Premier League club Motherwell.
In three seasons with the Steelmen, McDonald netted an impressive 42 goals from 108 starts - form that would seal his move to domestic heavyweights Celtic in 2007.
McDonald maintained the rage in Glasgow, where in three seasons he scored 51 times from 88 appearances, including a memorable winner against AC Milan at the group stage of the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League.
“A lot of special memories and a lot of good friends have been made up here as well,” said McDonald.
“I think my career sort of hit a down path after leaving Southampton and this is where it all started for me again and gave me the career that I-ve got now.
“At Motherwell was a great time, I did well there as a young kid and that gave me the chance to step on to an even bigger club, Celtic.
“To have won titles and to have played in European football, Champions League against the best players in the world was a fantastic experience and obviously fond memories.”
Aside from his experience at the venue for Wednesday-s match - having played at the Easter Road Stadium with both Motherwell and Celtic - McDonald also possesses a sound awareness of the Qantas Socceroos- opponents, Scotland, many of whom have played with or opposed McDonald in recent years.
“It-ll be a tough, physical battle,” said McDonald.
“All their players now - the majority - are playing in the Premier League now so they-ve got some quality there.
“It-s quite a youthful side with a little bit of experience as well, they-re a very strong team but, so are we so we-re looking forward to the challenge.”
The Qantas Socceroos are next in action on Wednesday, 15 August, when they take on Scotland in an international friendly at Edinburgh-s Easter Road Stadium. Kick off is at 8pm local time (Kick off is at 5am AEST, Thursday, 16 August).
Australia-s FIFA World Cup qualification journey resumes on Tuesday, 11 September, when the Qantas Socceroos meet the challenge of Jordan in Amman. Kick off is at 7pm local time (Kick off is at 2am AEST, Wednesday, 12 September).
The Qantas Socceroos are next in Australia in 2013, starting with a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney-s Stadium Australia on Tuesday, 26 March. Kick off is at 7.30pm local time.
The Qantas Socceroos return to Stadium Australia on Tuesday, 18 June to continue their FIFA World Cup qualification journey against Iraq. Kick off is at 7.30pm local time.
Tickets for each of the aforementioned matches at Stadium Australia are on sale now through Ticketek - click here for details or phone, 132 849.