Bolter Deng shocked at Socceroos call-up


Socceroos bolter Thomas Deng has revealed his shock at earning a call-up to Graham Arnold's Australia squad.

The Melbourne Victory defender was one of four uncapped players named in the 25-man squad ahead of this week's training camp in the United Arab Emirates and international against Kuwait on Tuesday morning October 16 (AEDT).

Deng's selection was reward for a consistent last A-League campaign in which he played a key role in helping the Victory take out the Championship with a grand final win over Newcastle Jets.

The 21-year-old has represented Australia at youth level but admitted he experienced a flood of emotion when discovering he had earned a Socceroos call-up.

"It is an amazing feeling (to be picked for the Socceroos), It is absolutely surreal. I called my missus as soon as I received the news," Deng said.

"I'm just amazed and very happy to be called up to my first senior camp.

"I'm going there to work hard and try to enjoy the experience as much as I can."

The versatility of Deng has caught the attention of Arnold, who views the Kenyan-born defender as a player who could potentially fill a role in the centre and on the right of his defence.

Deng was a member of the Australia Under-23 training camp in Canberra last month and has also spent time on loan with Dutch Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven. 

His selection was also met with words of wisdom from former Socceroos and Victory teammates Carl Valeri, James Troisi and coach Kevin Muscat.

"They wished me well and congratulated me on being called up to my first camp," he said.

"The main advice they had for me was to enjoy the moment as much as I could but also make sure I give it my all.

"To earn a Socceroos cap would mean the world to me. It is something I have worked towards for since I was a young kid.

"I'm only 21, so to be able to run out for my country would be an amazing experience and I hope I can do everyone proud.

Australia's match against Kuwait next Tuesday (AEDT) will be the first of three internationals in the lead up to their AFC Asian Cup defence in January.

The Socceroos will also play two home internationals in November, starting with a clash against Korea Republic in Brisbane on November 17 before taking on Lebanon in Sydney three days later.