Irvine has all right moves to tame Syria

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - EMMA KEMP

JACK­SON Irvine is reap­ing the re­wards of his hard-nosed UK foot­ball ed­u­ca­tion.

And the Hull City man ready to use it against Syria.

With a pen­chant for phys­i­cal­ity seen as far back as his days at Mel­bourne state­league club Frankston Pines, de­vel­oped in Scot­land as a teenager and fine-tuned in Eng­land’s lower leagues, Irvine, 25, was the per­fect man to take on Pales­tine striker Mah­moud Wadi.

His en­ergy off the bench in Aus­tralia’s open­ing 1-0 loss to Jor­dan earned him a start in that sec­ond-out 3-0 win over Pales­tine.

Irvine is in strong con­tention to start again in tonight’s fix­ture that will de­ter­mine whether the Soc­ceroos progress from Group B in sec­ond, re­main in con­tention in third, or go home in last.

And there’s a sense Syria, need­ing all three points, might al­low the Soc­ceroos to play through more cen­trally.

“I think at some point in the game that will prob­a­bly be the case,” Irvine said.

“We’re not sure ob­vi­ously how they’re go­ing to ap­proach the game but we’re pre­pared for all these sce­nar­ios.

“We’ve got enough ex­pe­ri­ence to recog­nise mo­ments in games when you need to show that game in­tel­li­gence.

“If we start the game in the same way we started the last game – pos­i­tive, front­foot, pick­ing the right mo­ments to try and pen­e­trate and play for­ward passes – then if we can get that early goal that will draw them out even fur­ther know­ing they need a re­sult.

“Hope­fully that can open the game up even more for us to play some free-flow­ing, at­tack­ing foot­ball.” is

Jack­son Irvine.

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