Alex Gersbach's performance against Cameroon has delighted Socceroos staff and has the youngster dreaming of a FIFA World Cup berth.
A couple of weeks ago, Gersbach woke up on the Greek island of Santorini and decided to check his phone.
The left-back was enjoying a sun-drenched week away from his Norwegian club, Rosenberg. He'd been in and out of the team and the holiday was the distraction he needed.
He saw he'd missed a call from Socceroos team manager Joel Freeme.
"I walked out on to the balcony and gave him a call and he gave me the news. It was a pretty good time to receive the call," he said, smiling at the memory.
After initially missing the 23-man squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup, Gersbach was informed of Brad Smith's injury. He was going to Russia.
Beers and bathers were quickly swapped for boots.
"I had one more night in Santorini and then I flew back to Trondheim. It worked out perfectly. I got a little break in I probably needed then straight back to work and straight in to camp," Gersbach said.
The 20-year-old's preparation for the Confederations Cup was anything but textbook but given his performance against Cameroon on Friday (AEST), it could have high-performance managers re-thinking their approaches.
Gersbach had been a stand out in Socceroos training and when Aziz Behich underwhelmed in the side's opener, he was thrown in against the African champions - playing with purpose and poise.
"It was a great feeling (to play), it shows Ange has confidence in me and he has confidence in all his players," he said.
"I was a bit nervous before the game actually in terms of doing my job.
"Once I got out onto the pitch I really enjoyed it. It seemed pretty simple in the end in terms of what I had to do in both defence and attack: pretty much just run all day.
"I've been struggling a little bit lately. It came at a really good time. I'm happy I played well and am looking to build on that."
Gersbach, struggling for game time in Norway, said he hoped someone back home was watching.
"My missus was watching on Norwegian TV live so I wouldn't mind if a few people were watching that," he said.
"My goal is still to make the squad for the World Cup."