McGeady relishing chance to shine at Thomond
Aiden McGeady will be afforded his opportunity to press a case for inclusion in the Ireland side that meets Cyprus on September 5 in the crucial World Cup qualifier when he lines out against Australia tonight.
The Celtic playmaker has not started the last two qualifying ties for differing reasons and is intent on giving manager Giovanni Trapattoni a selection headache when he comes around to choosing his first XI for the match in Nicosia next month.
"I couldn't play in Italy because of the knee injury and then the manager went with Damien Duff and Stephen Hunt as the wingers for the Bulgaria match," said McGeady, who is a confirmed starter for tonight's friendly.
"As a player, you want to play in every game for your country but it's up to the manager to decide and up to me to force my way into the line-up.
"Everybody is fighting for place in team. The way the manager has worked in previous games is that the starting team in a friendly match is pretty much the same for the next game. He likes to get his point across early doors."
With the countdown to the end of the qualifying series very much underway, the 24-year-old is keen to help Ireland secure a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which would mark his first-ever major finals.
He said: "The focus is now on is to qualify for the World Cup next year. We've given ourselves a great platform to go on and do well in the group and the Cyprus game next month will be crucial.
"There should be a good atmosphere at Thomond Park and we're all looking forward to playing in the stadium for the first time.
"Australia have already qualified for the World Cup. They have a lot of quality players - one of whom Scott McDonald I know really well from Celtic - and I'm sure they will have a decent team out against us."