Adrian Leijer joined the exalted list of Australian footballers to have experienced the cauldron of the English Premier League after being on the substitute bench in Fulham’s weekend win against Reading.

The 3-1 win lifts Leijer’s Fulham out of the relegation zone in which it has been mired for the past three weeks.

Speaking from London before his Craven Cottage debut, Leijer was typically humble in the face of a tremendous achievement.

“A couple of guys have been injured so a chance has opened up for a defender,” Leijer said.

“I travelled with the team last weekend and just missed out on the final squad, so it’ll be great to actually be in the line-up for the match.”

In a dramatic finale, Fulham’s young English central defender Omosuzi was sent off in the final minutes, opening the door for Leijer to make a possible debut next week against the giants of Liverpool at Anfield.

Leijer has been forced to wait for a debut since his transfer from Melbourne Victory earlier this year.

Much of Leijer’s time since penning his three-year-deal has been spent circumnavigating the Indian and Pacific Oceans with Australian international commitments, any momentum gained by the 21-year-old at Craven Cottage quickly evaporating.

“It’s been hard to make an impact because of all the Olympic matches we’ve been playing,” Leijer said.

“You train for a couple of weeks and make some progress and then you’re back off again and you lose the ground you’ve gained.

“Sometimes it’s frustrating having to play reserves, in front of no real crowd. Hopefully I can get some match time in the senior team in the next couple of months.”