Rhyan Grant (left) impressed in a timely Socceroos debut against Lebanon ahead of the Asian Cup.Rhyan Grant’s spectacular return from a second knee reconstruction has reinvigorated a stalled Socceroo career and may prompt him to give his infamous mullet a trim prior to a potential Asian Cup call-up.
Long-serving Sydney FC defender Grant made an assured international debut against Lebanon on Wednesday, when he became the 600th man to win a Socceroos cap.
It came almost 10 years after he made his A-League debut, but circumstance have often forced the 27-year-old right-back to play the waiting game.
He underwent a knee reconstruction early in the 2013-14 season and experienced another before the 2017-18 campaign, which sidelined him for that season.
Grant was first called into the Socceroos squad by then coach Ange Postecoglou in March 2017.
He had to wait 20 months before being awarded a Socceroos debut by his old Sydney FC mentor and current Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.
For once, things moved quickly for Grant.
It took him just eight A-League and FFA Cup games this season to persuade Arnold he was ready for international football.
“He gives you that energy up and down and he’s come back from an ACL very well and he had a special night,” Arnold said.
Grant said he hadn’t expected to get a call-up and with the Asian Cup looming just over a month away agreed it was well timed.
“I spoke to my old man and mum and they sort of said the same thing ‘did you expect to be here about six months ago’, I wouldn’t have,’ Grant said.
“To get back in around the squad and then to make my debut is pretty freakish and something I’m pretty proud of.”
Grant, who chalked up his 150th A-League appearance for Sydney FC in his last game, credited the Sky Blues medical staff for his swift return to top form following his long layoff.
His form surge and consequent call-up means even more people will get the chance to see and comment on his notorious mullet.
“It’s getting a lot of traction the haircut,” Grant said, when asked if he would give it a trim if he gets an Asian Cup call-up.
“You either love it or hate it, I suppose you’ve got to take a side but I’m loving it at the minute, so I’ll keep it for a while I reckon.
“I’ve been in camp 10 days or so, I haven’t had a chance to be able to cut it myself, but when I get home I’ll trim it up and have it ready, spick and span. It’s getting a bit long and a bit ratty.”