Mariners’ Nisbet replaces Miller in Socceroos squad

Anna Harrington |

Central Coast Mariners midfielder Josh Nisbet (left) has earned his first call-up for the Socceroos.
Central Coast Mariners midfielder Josh Nisbet (left) has earned his first call-up for the Socceroos.

Josh Nisbet’s career of defying the odds has delivered his biggest milestone yet, with the diminutive midfielder earning his first Socceroos call-up.

Central Coast Mariners star Nisbet has become a late inclusion for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon in Canberra and Western Sydney after Hibernian defender Lewis Miller had to withdraw with a hamstring injury.

Nisbet, who stands just 160cm tall, has consistently proved doubters wrong, forging a fine professional career despite his relative lack of height.

The 24-year-old has arguably been the A-League Men’s best midfielder this season after moving into a more attacking role, with seven assists and two goals.

Nisbet, a championship winner last season, has also helped the Mariners reach the AFC Cup Inter-Zonal Final.

Former Olyroo Nisbet’s inclusion comes less than two days after Arnold had said the midfielder was being overlooked for more experienced players.

“(Nisbet) has been doing fantastic, but at the moment with World Cup qualifiers (we are) bringing boys that know what needs to happen,” Arnold said on Thursday.

“We get one training session and it’s about having boys who know what we need to do in these two games.”

Lewis Miller in action for Australia.
Lewis Miller will miss the Socceroos’ Lebanon clashes with a hamstring injury. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

Miller misses out after he failed to finish Hibernian’s 2-2 draw with Ross County in the Scottish Premiership on Thursday morning (AEDT) due to a hamstring issue.

It is a tough blow for the 23-year-old, who would have been looking to shake off memories of his last outing in green and gold.

The defender gave away a penalty late in February’s Asian Cup quarter-final that allowed South Korea to equalise, then conceded the free kick from which Son Heung-min scored the winner in extra time.

Nisbet joins fellow ALM stars Brandon Borrello, Bruno Fornaroli and Adam Taggart in the Socceroos squad.