Aussie Arnold a good fit for Socceroos

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold talking tactics ahead of Saturday's friendly against South Korea.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold talking tactics ahead of Saturday's friendly against South Korea.

To borrow a prime ministerial phrase, Mathew Leckie is excited about the 'fair dinkum' energy an Australian coaching the Socceroos brings.

After his first taste of working under a foreign coach with the national team during Bert Van Marwijk's short reign, Leckie is clearly happy Graham Arnold has taken on the role following this year's World Cup.

The 27-year-old was an ever present during Australia's three World Cup matches in Russia under Dutchman Van Marwijk - who took over on a short-term basis following Ange Postecoglu's decision to quit the post 12 months ago.

While Leckie had no complaints about Van Marwijk's time in charge, he says there's something incomparable about having an Australian in the hot seat.

"With an Australian coach, they're there for the love of the country," Leckie said.

"They're representing Australia as coaches just as we are as players. I think it's extra special."

Arnold will lead the Socceroos for the first time on home soil on Saturday against South Korea in Brisbane.

The clash with the Taegeuk Warriors looms as the biggest test for Australia before the Asian Cup kicks off in the UAE in January.

Leckie was part of the team which beat South Korea in 2015 to secure the Asian Cup on home soil, the 2-1 win in Sydney being the last time these two nations played each other.

The Hertha Berlin player has encouraged his teammates to embrace their status as Asian champions ahead of next year's title defence.

"We've put ourselves in a position where we're the team you wanna knock off in Asia and that's the team you want to be," he said.

"That's the standard we've set and the great teams are the ones that can thrive off that and continue powering through.

"We've put ourselves in a really good position in the Asian map and we want to stay there."

Australian Associated Press