Risdon’s remarkable journey on the road to Russia

SOCCEROOS right-back Josh Risdon concedes he wouldn't be at the World Cup if he didn't leave his family age 14 to follow his dream.

Risdon relocated from Bunbury in country WA to Perth with his family struggling to do the four-hour round trip to training, and the sacrifice has paid off as he prepares to lock horns with arguably the most star-studded attack in Russia.

Josh Risdon has taken an unusual path to get to the World Cup in Russia. Pic: Getty
Josh Risdon has taken an unusual path to get to the World Cup in Russia. Pic: Getty

Sacrifices are par for the course, with Risdon delaying honeymoon celebrations until post World Cup after getting married the day before the camp began.

As he prepares to face France's world class attack of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Thomas Lemar, Risdon said the 2018 World Cup made his teenage sacrifice worthwhile.

"If not for that move, who knows where I'd be today. Probably not (here),'' Risdon said.

"The travel from Bunbury was too much for my parents because I've got two brothers and a sister. It was too hard to travel up and back five days a week, so I moved up with a friend of my dad's, lived with him and was just getting lifts to training.

Josh Risdon is firmly in the mix for a starting spot against France on Saturday. Pic: Getty
Josh Risdon is firmly in the mix for a starting spot against France on Saturday. Pic: Getty

 

"I guess it was a hard decision, at the time I didn't really think too much about how it would affect my parents but for them it would've been a hard call to let me go at such a young age. But I only had one thing in mind - to be a professional player, so whatever it took, I didn't think twice.

"It was a big move but now all those sacrifices are starting to pay off. Going to a World Cup is amazing and you look back and think it was one of those hard decisions at the time but in hindsight it's definitely paid off.

"It's the pinnacle of football and always dreams to be there at this stage. It'll be a massive couple of weeks."

Risdon controls possession during the friendly win over the Czech Republic. Picture: Toby Zerna
Risdon controls possession during the friendly win over the Czech Republic. Picture: Toby Zerna

The Western Sydney player, who was handed a Socceroos debut by Ange Postecoglou away to England in May 2016, was not daunted by facing attackers from Barcelona, Chelsea, PSG and Atletico Madrid.

"It's gona be tough but all those names are big so whoever I come up against, I'm sure I'll watch a few videos and hopefully I can do my best,'' he said.

"Mentally I'm very excited, positive, I'm just trying to soak it all in at the moment. Focus on this week coming up, just enjoy all the hype about it and really enjoying that first game."



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