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Gretna's Paartalu makes 'watch me' plea to Australia selectors

Paartalu is banking on Scott McDonald's success at Celtic to convince Australia he deserves a chance with the Olympics squad.

He told the Sunday Mail: "It could benefit me if selectors come to Scotland to watch Scotty. It's great exposure for me at Gretna and I might not get the chance to play in the SPL again.

"I'm eligible for Australia's Under-23 Olympic team and that's what I'm going for. They're still qualifying at the-moment but I'd love to play well for Gretna and force my way into one of the squads.

"Going to the Olympics would be massive. It's something I would remember forever.

"As a kid I set goals. The first was to play at the Under-17 World Championships and I did that in 2003.

"Playing at the Olympics was another of my childhood ambitions and hopefully I can get there."

Paartalu played a pivotal role in getting Gretna to the SPL - proving that his decision to try his luck in Europe was the right one.

He started his career with Rangers' former feeder club Northern Spirit and admits the Ibrox side's interest in Aussie football made him leave his homeland. He said: "Northern Spirit were my first professional club when Rangers had an affiliation with them.

"They sent players to us on loan and we had some boys go on trial in Glasgow. We were getting great crowds back then but all of a sudden Rangers pulled out.

"A few years down the line the club went bankrupt because of it.

"So that killed me. A lot of boys were really upset about it and they had to go to Central Coast Mariners - Ian Ferguson was one of them and he later turned to coaching.

I'm not bitter about it. I'd have jumped at the chance to try my luck at Ibrox. But Rangers' interest in the club made me decide to go to Europe.

"It motivated me to progress in my career and reach my goals."

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