Hyundai A-League goal machine Nathan Burns is fired up to prove himself a starting XI Socceroo four years after last playing for the national team.
Burns, 26, had the lightest of sessions on Tuesday after flying in from Wellington following their 1-0 over Wanderers on Sunday.
But the former AEK Athens and Adelaide United attacker is expected to join the main group tomorrow as competition for places hots up ahead of the Asian Cup opener against Kuwait on January 9 at AAMI Park.
“There’s always hunger when you come into these camps. All the players feel it,” the Wellington Phoenix striker said.
“Everyone wants to play on home soil. I’d love to start. I’m going to push for that.
“That’s what everyone’s here to do, not just sit on the bench.
“I’m going to push for a starting position.”
Burns has ten goals to his name so far this A-League season at the NZ outfit.
“Everyone will tell you they take this tournament seriously and they want to be in that starting XI,” he added.
With the addition of Wanderers’ number 9 Tomi Juric, on paper there’s enough firepower in the Socceroo forward ranks to take the load off Tim Cahill’s shoulders.
With this in mind, when asked about his role with the Socceroos, Burns was clear.
“To score goals,” he declared.
And after his last game for the green and gold, at the 2011 Asian Cup as a late substitute against Iraq, Burns was delighted to finally have another opportunity.
“It’s good to get back amongst the guys and this environment,” he said.
“Ange has given a lot of players some great opportunities on form so I knew if I kept going I’d get the opportunity.”