The Wellington Phoenix are likely to be without Reece Caira for the month of January after his selection in the Australian under-22 team that will contest the Asian Cup in Oman.
The 20-year-old joined the Phoenix from Western Sydney Wanderers this season and after making his debut at left back has been out of favour in the last few weeks.
Now he is hoping that playing in the Asian Cup will get him on track at the Phoenix.
“It is always exciting being picked to play for your country, and this is a good opportunity for me to build some confidence that will allow me to kick on when I get back to my club,” Caira said.
“The standard in Asia is good and we have drawn a tough group alongside Iran, Kuwait and Japan, who will probably be the favourite to win the Cup.
“We-ve played Japan in the past and they have given us a tough time so we know what to expect.”
While things haven-t gone his way at the Phoenix lately he is still enjoying himself at the club and learning all the time.
“Ernie has been really good with me,” Caira said.
“He lets me know what he expects of me and has been coaching me a lot.
“The coaches with the national team, Aurelio Vidmar and Paul Okon, are also good so I hope to come back to the Phoenix ready to challenge for a place again.”
The Asian Cup tournament kicks off on January 12 with Australia beginning their campaign against Kuwait the following day.
Caira and his team-mates will first head to Dubai for a training camp before moving on to Oman.