Alex Gersbach plans to focus simply on playing well for his new French club rather than any potential place in new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk’s World Cup squad.
Gersbach completed his loan move from Norwegian champions Rosenborg to French Ligue 2 club RC Lens last week in his quest to play more consistent first team football.
The 20-year-old made 25 appearances for Rosenborg in all competitions last season but made just 15 starts. That lack of playing time was frustrating at times for Gersbach who knows he needs to play more regularly if he is to force his way into Australia’s squad for Russia in June.
Having made four appearances for the Socceroos, including impressive appearances in a vital World Cup qualifier against Thailand and at the Confederations Cup against Cameroon, Gersbach will be in the mix. And with Australia’s first match at the World Cup against France on June 16 Gersbach will be able to gain a firsthand look at the Socceroos’ toughest opposition.
But the Sutherland Sharks product told the Leader from France he was more focused on helping Lens push towards the top half of the table after a tough start to the season with the World Cup pushed to the back of his mind – for now.
“Lens are a big club with great fans and they were really keen to get me on board so it was a great match,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute a lot to the team over the next four or five months. And now that I’m here it’s more about focusing on the task at hand with Lens rather than the World Cup just yet.
“The French national team are scarily talented at the moment and football in France is very strong. And they’re producing some great players. So to play with and against these types of players will obviously help me improve my game.”
Van Marwijk’s appointment has given Socceroos fans cause to be optimistic for Russia given his history having taking the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final. He also ensured Saudi Arabia qualified directly for Russia – at Australia’s expense – and will have a good knowledge of the Socceroos from scouting them during World Cup qualification.
Gersbach said it had been exciting to see Australia linked with big name coaches like van Marwijk.
“It’s not daunting, it’s more exciting I guess,” he said.
“And of course you have to prove yourself to the new coach.”
Gersbach was in line to make his Lens debut, who are 15th in Ligue 2, at home at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis against US Orleans on Saturday (AEDT).