Brave Scotland move gives Ben Socceroos boost
FORMER Adelaide United defender Ben Garuccio took just seven matches at his new Scottish club Heart of Midlothian to catch the eye of Socceroos' boss Graham Arnold.
The new Socceroos coach has called Garuccio into his maiden international camp in Turkey.
Arnold is expected to take a closer look at which players will impress to win caps against South Korea in a friendly at Brisbane's Lang Park in November less than eight weeks out from the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in United Arab Emirates.
"I'm absolutely buzzing, it's been my goal and every young player's goal in Australia for a very long time,'' Garuccio said from Antalya, Turkey.
"I'm absolutely delighted and a little bit surprised to be brought in (to camp) but I'm really happy."
Hearts is proving to be a shrewd move for the 23-year-old. It was also the Socceroos launch pad for Australia's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad member, fellow South Australian Ryan McGowan.
After choosing not to renew his expired Reds contract at the end of the last A-League season, Garuccio signed a three-year Hearts deal and immediately made an impact when he scored in a 5-0 league cup win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in July.
Garuccio is loving life in his new home in Edinburgh.
"Scotland being an English speaking country has made the transition a lot easier,'' Garuccio said.
"I'm able to speak to the coaches and understand the other players easily that's a big help."
With no shortage of Australians playing in the Scottish premier league, including Tom Rogic (Celtic) Garuccio is expected to play a huge part in the Edinburgh derby against fellow Socceroos Mark Milligan and Jamie Maclaren who signed for Hibernian this season.
With Hearts leading the Scottish premiership with four wins from four, including a super 1-0 win over title favourite Celtic at Tynecastle Stadium in round two, Garuccio is looking forward to the derby of the new season against Hibs on November 1.
The Edinburgh derby is one of the oldest in the soccer world which dates back to 1877.
In the 318 matches Hearts have had upper hand winning 140 times compared to Hibs' 84 wins.
"There's really big games to be played obviously against Tomi (Rogic) and now coming up against Macca (Maclaren) and Mark Milligan adds to the tastiness of a derby,'' Garuccio said.