After Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Stoke, many players on the pitch have been receiving high levels of praise, but Australian midfielder Riley Mcgree has seemed to stand out amongst the crowd! Under Spanish boss Aitor Karanka, the unfortunate Blues loanee was hardly given a chance to prove himself and show his worth, but new Boss Lee Bowyer has seen potential in the 22-year-old, regularly giving him opportunities to prove himself in the first team.

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Lee Bowyer has recently seemed to favour the 3-5-2 formation, with Colin and either Seddon or McGree playing much higher up the pitch on the wings. Against Brentford, Bowyer started and kept the Aussie on the for the full 90 minutes, in which McGree showed his solidity when defending, and attacking ability when going forward. Fast forward to this weekend’s victory over Stoke, McGree was once again backed by Bowyer when he was brought on for a quiet Alan Halilovic, who seemed to have picked up a knock in the first half of action. It took only 8 minutes for McGree to stamp his mark on the game, when his left-footed shot from outside the box was parried by Adam Davies in the Potters Goal, allowing Blues striker Lukas Jutkiewicz to pounce on the rebound, bagging himself his second goal of the game. These stand-out performances from the youngster has caught the eye of the Australian National Team assistant coach Rene Meulensteen. He stated…

“Sometimes a new coach changes everything for a player and Riley has taken his chance really well in both those games he has played over the last few days, I’m sure he would have impressed Lee Bowyer and he’s worked hard to earn the chance.” Meulensteen went on to say…

“Of course, Birmingham have been in a tough spot but they’ve turned the corner a bit now and hopefully Riley can play a big part in helping them continue to climb the table between now and the end of the season. He’s been an important player for the Olyroos and he’ll have every chance of winning a spot in Tokyo, just like a lot of other players.”

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McGree who is on loan with Blues until the end of the season from Charlotte FC, will want to earn himself a place in the u-23s Australian National Team (also known as the Olyroos) who compete in a competition in Toulon, France in June. As well as this, the Australian first team (also known as the Socceroos) travel to Kuwait to compete in their remaining four matches for the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. With McGree beginning to cement his spot in the Blues side, he’ll be looking to do the same for both the Australian u-23s and first team this coming summer.