Caltex Socceroos youngster Daniel Arzani has declared it a “dream come true” to wear the colours of Australia for the first time after taking part in his first session during the pre-FIFA World Cup training camp.
Arzani, coming off the back of a breakout Hyundai A-League season for Melbourne City FC where he won the NAB Young Footballer of the Year gong, also admitted nerves after meeting up with teammates for the first time in the extended 26-man squad.
But luckily for the teenager, he has one of our greatest ever to guide him every step of the way.
“First and foremost, I’m really excited to be [in camp] – I’m really that the boys have been really welcoming,” Arzani told socceroos.com.au.
He added: “Coming into camp it was a bit frightening because I don’t actually know anyone. But knowing I had Timmy, and he’s a good friend of mine, was very helpful.”
Arzani, 19, made 18 appearances after cracking the first team at City and has been lauded as the x-factor talent that could end up making the final 23 as the Caltex Socceroos head to Russia.
But after training for the first time with his new teammates in Antalya, Turkey – the team’s base until they travel to Kazan, Russia – Arzani admitted the situation he’s found himself in hasn’t quite hit him yet.
“To be honest with you, it hasn’t really hit me yet,” he said.
“I haven’t had that overwhelming excitement but that will probably come in the next few days.
“I’m really excited to train, I was really looking forward to it when I woke up this morning and I wanted to get the first session out of the way.”
Arzani added: “I just have to prove I’m invaluable to the team and have something to add and I think that will come by just doing my own thing and doing well.
“Coming into national team as a young player is like starting over again so I’ve just got to prove my worth and maybe more so than anyone else.
“But it would be a dream come true [to make his Caltex Socceroos debut].
“Since I was young I’ve dreamed of playing for Australia, playing for the Socceroos, and to think that could come true in the next couple of weeks is amazing.”