Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine says that playing at a World Cup is the pinnacle and added that Australia’s 20-game Asian qualification process will assist the team in Russia.
Irvine was included in Caltex Socceroos' coach Bert van Marwijk's 26-player squad for Australia’s pre-tournament training camp in Turkey, followed by a friendly match against the Czech Republic in Austria on June 1.
Irvine has been a regular fixture for Hull in the English Championship this season playing the majority of the Tigers' 46 games that saw the club finish 18th out of 24 clubs.
With the squad being trimmed from 26 to 23 on June 4, Irvine hopes of being on the plane to Russia.
“The World Cup is the pinnacle of football, not just for yourself but for your family," he said speaking to FourFourTwo at today’s unveiling of the CAHILLTEX promotion at Caltex North Ryde.
“To represent your country on the biggest stage, it doesn’t get more exciting than that.”
After an impressive season with Burton Albion last term, Irvine moved to Hull this season and played 37 games and the 25-year-old feels the move to the Tigers took his game to a higher level.
“The day-to-day of training with international level players at Hull was valuable," he said. "It was something that I never had the chance to experience in my career so far.
“Playing with guys like Sebastian Larsson - he’s got 100 caps for Sweden - and English Premier League experience like Michael Dawson, who went to the World Cup with England.
"Playing with these top, top players who have played at the highest level and playing alongside them is definitely been the best thing for my career so far.”
Irvine has featured in 17 games for the Socceroos, becoming a regular fixture during the Asian qualifiers, and said he was excited that the World Cup was just around the corner.
“After all those celebrations and scenes after the Honduras game it kind of settles down," he said.
“Right now I have to make sure I’m involved in the next step. I’ve been very fortunate to be involved so heavily over the past two years throughout the World Cup qualification process.
“Hopefully if I do enough to play in Russia all that hard work will pay off in a sense and I’ll get to share in the experience of playing in a World Cup, knowing that I played a part in helping to get the squad there.”
Irvine feels that going through the high and lows of World Cup qualification will assist the Socceroos in Russia.
“We came through a lot of difficulty along the way,” he said.
“We came through the play-off games and the 20-game qualification process before that and going into a major tournament it’s as good a preparation as we could have had.
“We played in a lot of games against a lot of top teams that featured a lot of different styles of football and I think that will hold us in good stead heading into the next few weeks.”