Adelaide rookie Riley McGree hit the headlines this week after earning a call-up to Ange Postecoglou’s Caltex Socceroos squad, and now 17-year-old Roar utility Dane Ingham has been picked to play for New Zealand.
Ingham, along with brother Jai, who plays for Melbourne Victory, was last night named in Anthony Hudson’s All Whites squad for this month’s FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Fiji.
The Ingham brothers are eligible to play for New Zealand through their Kiwi-born mother, with Hudson flying to Brisbane this week to visit Dane and his family.
Dane Ingham on learning of his call-up
“It was a pretty special moment,” Dane said via a New Zealand Football Statement.
“I was sitting at home and I got a call from my agent saying that New Zealand were interested and they were going to call me up and I got on the phone straight away to my brother and my mum and we just talked and mum was really happy to have both of us called into the squad.
“I don’t think [Mum] could believe it really with me being so young.
“With my brother getting his first call up she didn’t think she would have two sons in the same team at the same time, so she was just very pleased and she was giving me advice and saying just take it all in and enjoy yourselves.”
Ingham’s rapid rise under John Aloisi
After rising through the Roar’s Youth Team in recent seasons, Ingham made his first-team debut in Roar’s 6-0 Asian Champions League play-off win over Global FC in late January.
The youngster has since started in two Hyundai A-League games for Brisbane and scored a cracking goal in his side’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Glory in Perth last month.
Predominantly an attacking player, Ingham has excelled in a defensive role under Aloisi, with the athletic teenager utilised as a fullback at the Roar.
“I’ve just moved back there and trying to learn off some experienced defenders over here and training every day with the first team over here, the intensity really improves you as a player and even from the first couple of weeks you know what a better player you’ve become.”
Ingham on the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup
“Yes pretty much perfect timing for me I guess,” he said. “The Confederations Cup is going to be a big one for us New Zealanders and hopefully we can go over there and show the other teams that we mean business.
“The squad is looking really good and really strong with a lot of experience and I think we’ll go over there and show them what we’re made of.”