Age not an issue for Socceroos World Cup bolter Aleksandar Susnjar

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The Australian defender only just made his national debut but is determined to book his spot in Russia

When Bert van Marwijk named his first Socceroos squad last month, the name Aleksandar Susnjar took most by surprise. 

The 22-year-old, who only debuted for the U23 Australian side this year, has flown under the national radar playing professionally in Lithuania, Romania and most recently with Czech club Mladá Boleslav. 

A tall, composed and strong centre back, Susnjar impressed at the AFC U-23 Championship and did enough to attract van Marwijk's attention before debuting for the Socceroos in the second half against Norway in Oslo.

"It was an amazing experience...it took a few days to sink in," Susnjar told Football Nation Radio

"I am young but I don't let that get to me.

"I just came on the field with a strong mindset... play how I usually do and back myself.

"The coach is very friendly and from my end I think he was impressed with my performance."

While the match against Norway would end in a 4-1 defeat, Susnjar didn't look out of place on the national stage.

With fellow Australian centre backs Trent Sainsbury and Matt Jurman both overcoming recent injuries, Susnjar is optimistic about his chances of making the squad for Russia.

"To play in the World Cup it would be a dream come true," he said.

"If I perform good and keep going how I am, I have a big chance to make it."

Moving to Serbia as a teenager and signing for Lithuanian club Ekranas before his 18th birthday, Susnjar has wracked up some serious experience in a short amount of time and has his sights set firmly up the European ladder.

"It's all about coming in with the right mindset," Susnjar said.

"Coming in as a foreigner you have to prove yourself more than the local players.

"I dream of playing in the Premier League, Bundesliga, top five leagues in Europe.

"Liverpool, that's my dream club."

Having bypassed the A-League completely, the Perth-born defender is open to playing in Australia one day but is focused firmly on making it in Europe first.

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"I think that's bit more down the track, towards the end of my career," he said.

"The last few years of my career I wouldn't mind coming back and playing in the A-League.

"That's still ten years away... I'd like to stay in Europe."

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