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Josh Risdon crosses as Denmark defender Jens Stryger Larsen tries to block during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group C match between Denmark and Australia at the Samara Arena. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Risdon reflects on whirlwind few months

Football West News

Josh Risdon returns to action this week when Western Sydney Wanderers begin their FFA Cup campaign under new coach Markus Babbel away at Darwin minnows Hellenic Athletic.

The Round of 32 tie in the Top End must seem a million miles from the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia, where the West Australian played in all three of the Socceroos games.

The Bunbury-born defender, who earned plaudits for his displays against eventual champions France, Denmark and Peru, spoke to Football West about a whirlwind few months in which he not only faced some of the finest players on the planet but also married his fiancée Ebony.

Josh Risdon (No.19) lines up with his Socceroos teammates before the opening World Cup match against France in Kazan in June. Photo by Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

“Looking back at it now, it’s hard to comprehend what happened,” the 26-year-old right back said.

“Not only was it an exciting time in my career but also on a personal level getting married. Having them so close together just made the last two-and-a-half months so special and to top it off with our honeymoon. I will always look back at this time as the most exciting time of my life.”

For outsiders looking in, the Socceroos’ World Cup seemed a case of so near yet so far. They were widely praised in defeat against France, had the better of a draw with Denmark yet still finished bottom of their group and reflecting on another early exit.

Risdon vies with France midfielder Paul Pogba. Photo by Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

“Yes, it was disappointing that we didn’t pick up more points or progress through to the next stage,” Risdon, a former Football West NTC player, said.

“I think if you looked at our performances we deserved a lot more then we got. As players we were proud of our effort to take it to the best, but left a little flat with the results we just couldn’t quite get.”

Risdon, a product of ECU Joondalup and Perth Glory, was one of three West Aussies in Bert van Marwijk’s squad in Russia. Trent Sainsbury was a rock in the centre of defence, while Brad Jones was a substitute keeper. Risdon said the support the trio received from fans in WA was well received.

He said: “We were very aware we had support from everywhere, especially back home. I had constant messages from family, friends and fans wishing me all the best, it’s so reassuring to know that you have the whole of the country behind you cheering you on the whole way.

“It gives you that extra bit of motivation to play for them.”

Risdon shakes hands with Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel after the 1-1 draw in Samara. Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Socceroos fans in Australia would have seen a series of Hyundai TV ads in which players such as Mark Milligan and skipper Mile Jedinak wrote thank you letters to the people who had mentored them throughout their journey.

Risdon also featured with the full back writing to Kenny Lowe, his coach while coming through the ranks at Perth Glory.

Lowe is seen to be visibly moved at receiving the note. Have the pair caught up since it was aired?

“Yes, I have spoken to him since and we had a good chat,” Risdon said.

“He has always been a big influence in my career and always wishing the best for me as a player and person.

“It was good for the public to see that what he has done, not only for me but I know for sure a lot of other players as well.”