Bolter Burgess faces up to long-awaited Socceroos call

If Graham Arnold was looking for a new warrior then the Socceroos boss might have found one in the shape of towering Ipswich defender Cameron Burgess.

The 27-year-old hadn’t been sighted in Australian colours since playing for the Olyroos in 2016, but has won his maiden senior call-up for Sunday’s (AEDT) friendly against Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

The Perth-raised defender has been on a journey through England’s lower leagues before landing at Ipswich and striking up a dialogue with Arnold on the way to winning promotion to the English Championship earlier this year.

But Burgess’s hopes of donning the green and gold have taken its fair share of setbacks along the way, most notably last year when he was involved in a sickening on-field collision that left him requiring facial surgery.

“I couldn't tell you the amount of fractures, it was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle and not one that was made up,” Burgess said.

“I want to say there’s high 30s (in the number of) bolts and screws still in my face. The pictures (of scans) paint a thousand words.

“It was a case of waiting for the bones to heal to the right spots and the surgeon was happy for me to go ahead.

“I had to wear a mask … there was a game where I forgot to put it on one day and from then on it was good to go.”

Burgess was born in Aberdeen and speaks with a Scottish twang but says he never considered switching his allegiance to his birth country when Socceroos calls passed him by.

“As soon as I heard about a potential call-up for Australia, that's exactly where I wanted to be,” the uncapped defender said.

“That was also something that was a dream of mine since I was back playing in the Olyroos camp. 

"It’s taken time since my last trip away but it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Given Harry Souttar's lack of minutes and Gianni Stensness's long-term injury, Burgess's return to the international scene is a defence boost for Arnold ahead of January's Asian Cup. 

Arnold watched Burgess on a recent scouting trip to the UK alongside fellow Ipswich teammate Massimo Luongo, who hasn’t played for the Socceroos since 2019.

The Socceroos boss said he had been impressed with Luongo’s form since joining Ipswich in January and Burgess hopes it’s not too long before they can take their club form into the international arena together.

“Since he came in, Mass has been unbelievable for us, I don’t want to jinx his record but it’s pretty impressive when he wears the Ipswich shirt,” Burgess said.

“I enjoy having him play in front of me.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him and what he’s done and I know he’s desperate to get back involved in this team.” 

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store