“It was Wednesday afternoon after our cup game, and it took me by surprise to be honest.”
These were the words 23-year-old defender Kye Rowles used when describing his feeling after Socceroos head-coach Graham Arnold delivered the news that he would be receiving a call-up to the Australian National Team following many impressive seasons at Central Coast Mariners.
Kye Rowles first made his debut against Adelaide United in 2018 and since then he has followed up each season in style, putting brilliant performances week in week out for the Yellow and Navy.
Just getting to camp with the Socceroos is going to be an experience for Rowles, as he is humbled to receive a call up into the national team.
“I was lost for words but pretty stoked, it’s just a massive thing and it is pretty crazy,” he said speaking to media Saturday morning.
“I am humbled and privileged to have that opportunity and I can’t wait to get into camp and learn and gain that experience from all the experienced boys that have played for the Socceroos for years now.”
This year, Rowles has taken on a more senior role amongst the Mariners backline, and he is extremely proud of how his young teammates have delt with the pressure early on this season.
“I think it just stems from everyone gaining confidence every game and you look around the change-room and you see young [Jacob] Farrell, young Hally [Dan Hall] and young Lewie [Lewis] Miller and overall, all the boys up top growing in confidence,” he said.
“When you’re playing at the back you have to be loud and vocal the whole time and I really focused on that last year. Ruon [Tongyik] and I have a good partnership, and we lead from the back.
“That was one of the main focuses of last year and I think that has just helped by carrying it on over to this year.”
He also believes that the clash against Melbourne City will be a tough test but could set the Yellow and Navy up for the season if they produce a positive result on Sunday.
“It’s going to be a tough game for sure, but we are just focused on ourselves,” he concluded.
“If we play the way we want to play then we should be able to put on a good performance.
“That’s what we are all about. Making everyone as proud as possible to get the points and moving forward.”