Aaron Mooy's stunning impact on the Socceroos has even shocked the man himself, with the Melbourne City midfielder having become a vital player for Australia in the last six months. And he has a new motivation now.
Mooy has started Australia's past five matches - all World Cup qualifiers - and has quickly become a key midfield cog for Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, with the 25-year-old taking set pieces, plus notching three assists and a goal.
It is a massive turnaround after Mooy missed out on the Socceroos' Asian Cup squad.
Ahead of Thursday night's clash against the Mariners in Gosford, the former Wanderer spoke about the delight he's feeling right now.
"I don't doubt my ability but probably six months ago, I didn't think I would have played so many minutes for the Socceroos," he told Goal Australia (www.goal.com.au).
"So I'm obviously very happy with that but it's past now and now I look to the future."
Mooy's eye on the future has been inspired by two things - a more ruthless mentality and becoming a father.
Last week, Mooy's partner Nicola gave birth to their first child Skylar and his daughter has influenced the City playmaker's priorities.
"I've got to try and create the best life I can for my baby and my family, so yeah, that motivates me," he said.
With another two-and-a-half years left on his City contract, Mooy's comments could be interpreted as a long-term commitment to the Hyundai A-League club.
But while Mooy insists he is "very happy in Melbourne", his long-term ambition continues to bubble just below the surface.
When asked if he could make an impact in Europe's biggest leagues, Mooy answered: "I'm just looking to improve all the time and hopefully one day I'm good enough."
Some critics would argue he is good enough now - the Sydney-born midfielder has three goals and five assists from seven matches this A-League season - and Mooy doesn't sound like a player who would knock back a chance to test himself further.
"I've learnt that seasons go very fast, so you've got to make the most of your opportunities," Mooy said.
"Sooner or later I'll be at the end of my career, so I've probably just changed my mentality a bit about when I get a chance; I've got to make it worth it."
While the arrival of Skylar has made Mooy much busier at home than previously, the former Bolton Wanderers youth player claims he likes to keep his life relaxed and simple away from football.
Apart from walking his dog Fui and perusing Melbourne's wide range of cafes, Mooy also enjoys watching football - "anything that's on really, I'll watch it".
City's man of the moment considers it research.
"You can always pick up stuff when you're watching a high level - it's like with anything - so yeah, I watch a lot of football," Mooy said.
"You can watch midfielders and their movements, they receive the ball and get into areas where they can affect the game and stuff like that.
"I don't really watch one player and copy him or anything like that but if I see something that I think could work then maybe I'll try it."