19-year-old striker John Iredale admits he was shocked to be selected for Graham Arnold’s first Socceroos training camp.
Iredale is on the books with Dutch club SC Heerenveen, but has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Eredivise side.
He left Arnold’s Sydney FC to make the move to Holland last year.
Iredale was one of five uncapped players named yesterday in the 31-man squad for the Turkey training camp along with Awer Mabil, Ben Garuccio, Kenny Dougall and Denis Generau.
The forward is the youngest selected, the same age as fellow Holland-based winger Generau.
Iredale told The World Game he had no inkling he was going to be picked, despite having contact with Socceroos staff in the past few weeks.
“Being selected in the first-team squad was pretty much out of the blue,” Iredale said.
“But I had talked with some coaching staff leading up to this international break. I hadn’t spoken to Graham Arnold. [But] it definately helps when we have worked together for a little bit before.”
Iredale has played for the Young Socceroos previously and has impressed in SC Heerenveen’s youth teams and in pre-season.
This season he has made two appearances for the club’s Under-21s in the Beloften Preliminary Round, both convincing victories over SC Cambuur and Achilles.
The striker played two senior for the Sky Blues under Arnold before leaving the A-League in 2017. The Northern Spirit junior has long dreamt of wearing the green and gold.
“I’m really excited,” he said.
“It’s a big step forward in achieving my overall goal of playing for the Socceroos. I can’t wait to meet the players and show them what I can do.”
The 2019 Asian Cup is less than five months away, but Iredale is not getting ahead of himself.
“Of course I’d love to be apart of that squad, but I will take things step by step,” Iredale said.
“I am more than happy to be going to this camp right now.”
The national team will play a friendly in the Middle East in October, before taking on Korea in Brisbane in November.
Arnold said next week’s camp in Antalya marks the start of a “new phase for the Socceroos”.
“While we will have numerous field, tactical, and video sessions during the seven days that we are together in Turkey, we will also spend plenty of time off the pitch discussing our individual and team objectives and identity,” the coach said in a statement.
“As an organisation we’ve made the decision to take this camp close to the bulk of the players involved. This will lighten the travel load on the majority of the group, ensuring that they arrive in camp and back at their clubs as fresh as possible.
“The 31 players we have invited to Antalya will be the first to receive an opportunity to work with us, however we have a long list of players that we are monitoring and we will continue to assess them as we seek to add to the depth of the team.”