Hibs on-loan striker Jamie Maclaren has been named in Australia’s preliminary FIFA World Cup squad ahead of a training camp in Turkey later this month.
Socceroos manager Bert van Marwijk named a 32-man squad which is expected to be trimmed down to around 26 ahead of the camp at the end of May.
MacLaren has been a revelation since joining Hibs from German side Darmstadt during the January transfer window and has yet to be on a losing side.
Goals against Rangers and Hearts have made him a favourite amongst the Hibs fans and he has struck up a lethal partnership with fellow loanee Florian Kamberi, scoring five times in 13 appearances.
Hopes are high that both will remain with the club next season and whilst a fee has been agreed for Kamberi, MacLaren’s future is less certain and may depend on whether Darmstadt avoid relegation.
MacLaren said: “There’s been some fantastic footballers that never even made a World Cup before, so to be involved would be a dream – any player’s dream.
“I used to wake up at three in the morning to watch Australia play and see them get knocked out by Italy when Fabio Grosso dived on Lucas Neill in 2006.
“To be in a position where I might get selected is great. I was part of the squad that qualified for the tournament, I like to think I’ve been on that journey and I just want to keep that going. I’m hoping I’ll be in the squad.
“As a player you want to think that your chances are positive. I think the manager has watched me a few times and goals against the likes of Rangers, Celtic and Hearts do help your case.
“I need to be going on and doing well in the next few games. I know what is at stake and I know what I have to do.
“If I can continue my performances, get the regular football that I need and put the ball in the back of the net then that can only be good. That’s all I can control.
“I’d like to think that my case is strong, but it’ll mean nothing if I don’t do anything in the next few games.”