Wilkinson hopes new Australia boss recognises FC form: 'Maybe I'm a chance'
It's been a while since Alex Wilkinson pulled on the green and gold.
Two years have passed since his last Socceroos outing and 18 months gone since his last squad selection.
But as the next World Cup draws nearer, the Sydney FC centre-back has found himself reliving the previous instalment in Brazil.
A trusted member of Ange Postecoglou's new guard, Wilkinson started all three of Australia's group games at the 2014 tournament.
The 33-year-old has since appeared in a handful of Russia 2018 qualifiers but seemingly fell out of favour with Postecoglou, halting his caps tally at 16.
Stellar club form on the way to last season's A-League premiership-championship double spurred talk of a recall -- and then another omission.
It's why Wilkinson speaks cautiously about his aspirations for a second World Cup coming.
"Any player loves to represent their country and for me that was a highlight of my career, representing Australia at the World Cup," Wilkinson said.
"But I haven't been involved now for a while so I'm not exactly confident of it.
"But if you're playing well for your club you're always a chance, and that's what I'll be concentrating on."
That last point is indisputable.
Wilkinson has played nearly every minute of the last two campaigns as the backbone of Sydney's record-breaking defence.
This campaign he's remained unflappable, and dogged when needed -- his 70 clearances are by far the most in the league.
The push to impress continues at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, when the Sky Blues host Melbourne City in a bid to go eight points clear at the top.
Whether or not he factors in the thinking of Australia's next coach, Wilkinson just hopes Postecoglou's successor continues his exhaustive work scouring the globe for talent.
"He gave every Australian a chance and made you feel like, no matter where you were playing, if you were doing well at your club you're a chance of representing your country," he said.
"Whoever comes in next, it would be good if they looked at it the same way.
"And when you get a coach who's coached in the A-League before or is well aware of the A-League and its players -- and willing to pick them -- it gives you that confidence boost and that thought that if I'm doing well maybe I'm a chance."