A young striker who possesses such blistering speed that he can take advantage of any defender if given enough latitude and the right service. Still finding his feet after a year in Europe, Rukavytsya has the potential to provide an x-factor for the Socceroos, especially if Pim Verbeek’s men are chasing the game or are looking to play on the counter attack.
Born in Ukraine, Rukavytsya’s family moved to the warmer climes of Perth when he was 14 and after becoming eligible for Australia the fleet-footed striker was called into the national U-20 side. After a solid 2007/08 A-League season with six goals in the last eight matches for Perth Glory, Rukavytsya earned himself a place in the Australian Under-23 squad in the final stages of their qualifying campaign. Rukavytsya ultimately played a key role in attack for the Australian team at Beijing 2008 where he featured in all three matches.
Made his debut for the Socceroos in an international friendly against the Republic of Ireland in August last year, and then featured in January’s AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait. Transferred to Steve McLaren’s FC Twente early in 2009 but with match time limited he went on loan to Belgian club KSV Roeselare in January.