Rising star Risdon puts life on hold in pursuit of World Cup glory – FIFA World Cup – Russia 2018
By Tim Fernandez
It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Socceroos defender Josh Risdon after jumping on a flight to Australia’s World Cup training camp in Turkey the day after his wedding.
The newlyweds were forced to put their honeymoon plans on hold after Risdon was selected for the Socceroos preliminary World Cup squad.
His sacrifice has paid off after he was named by coach Bert van Marwijk in Australia’s final 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Risdon’s new bride Ebony Risdon says that is part of the demanding life of a footballer.
“We had the day which was very special and a few hours the next day before we had to drop him at the airport, so I was sad to see him go.
“But you have to be pretty flexible.
“It’s been a long road and lots of ups and downs, but he made it and obviously just very excited to get over there and support him.
Risdon was plucked out of the A-League and thrust onto the international stage in 2015 by former Australia coach Ange Postecoglou.
Since then it has been a bumpy ride for the Western Sydney Wanderers defender who struggled to hold down a regular spot in Australia’s starting 11.
But now it seems the tide has well and truly turned for the 25-year-old after his performance in the Socceroos 4 – 0 win over the Czech Republic caught the eye of new coach Bert van Marwijk.
Van Marwijk says Risdon has done enough to make the right back position his own.
Mrs Risdon says she is proud of her husband for making his World Cup dream a reality.
Josh Risdon’s solid performances in a series of World Cup lead-up games saw him book his Socceroos’ spot for Russia. (AP: Ronald Zak)
“It’s been a long-term goal for him, three years ago he wrote down that goal when we were on holidays.
“He works hard every day, eating, training, it’s a 24-hour job. This is the pinnacle and I’m really happy he can finally say he made it and achieved such a big dream.”
Risdon was born in Bunbury, Western Australia, and came up through the youth ranks of Perth Glory.
Since he was little, Josh’s parents have been driving him up two hours each way to Perth for training.
After seven seasons with the Glory, he made the decision to sign with the Western Sydney Wanderers in the hopes of improving his prospects of international football.
Now the Western Australian will get his chance to make his mark on the game’s biggest stage.
But his wife says she is still owed a honeymoon and is looking forward to celebrating after the World Cup.
“We’ve got a few things in mind, we’re thinking of the Amalfi coast in Italy or Mykonos and Santorini. Somewhere over in Europe where it’s sunny and we can lay by the beach.
The Socceroos will play Hungary in a friendly on June 9 before travelling to Russia for their World Cup opener against France in Kazan on June 16.