Garcia eyes World Cup spot
COLCHESTER striker Richard Garcia would love to play for Australia in the World Cup this summer.The Perth-born front-runner is not currently in the plans of the Australian selectors but he aims to turn a few heads by rattling up goals galore during the second half of the season.
By Carl Marston
COLCHESTER striker Richard Garcia would love to play for Australia in the World Cup this summer.
The Perth-born front-runner is not currently in the plans of the Australian selectors but he aims to turn a few heads by rattling up goals galore during the second half of the season.
An in-form Garcia swept home his fourth goal in the last three games, spanning just eight days, to seal a 3-1 victory over Derby County on Saturday.
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The ex-West Ham 24-year-old, after several months of injury woe, has suddenly emerged as one of the U's big-game players.
His late brace as a substitute secured a 2-1 home win over Port Vale the previous weekend, to propel the U's to the top of League One (they are now second), and he netted the winner at Cheltenham in midweek to book an LDV Vans Trophy southern area final appearance against Swansea.
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Garcia maintained his scoring form by tucking home Colchester's third goal, after 58 minutes, to kill off Derby and so secure a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup.
“Of course it would be nice to get into the Australian World Cup squad,” insisted Garcia. “Firstly, I'm just trying to play as many games as I can for Colchester. Then who knows whether the selectors will come and watch me or not?
“I believe that they are watching my progress. I've been scoring some goals lately, so maybe they might start paying me some more attention. It certainly won't do my chances any harm.
“The World Cup is in the back of my mind, but the main thing is to keep doing well for Colchester.
“My family back home keep up with what's happening. They listen to the commentaries of our matches on the Internet, even though it's early on Sunday morning, and my dad buys all the English papers.
“We never lose touch. We speak on the phone three or four days a week,” revealed Garcia.
Garcia has been in-and-out of the side, since his move from West Ham in September, 2004, due to a spate of niggling injuries. But he is now fully-fit and excited about the months ahead, as the U's prepare for a hectic schedule of league and cup fixtures.
“There's no reason why we can't keep winning. I think we can go on and win promotion this season,” remarked Garcia.
“The FA Cup is always something to get excited about. I don't mind who we draw in the next round, though I suppose I'd like to play against my old team West Ham.
“Some people made us the favourites against Derby, but we were really the underdogs. We just have a lot of belief about us.
“I guess that this has been my best week since I've been at Colchester. It's certainly been my fittest!” joked Garcia.