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Jul 05, 2013   |  10:16PM AET

Sainsbury right at home in Socceroo camp

Sainsbury right at home in Socceroo camp

Most players will go their whole career without tasting grand final glory or have the chance to pull on their national kit but at the age of 21 Trent Sainsbury has achieved many of his football dreams.

Most players will go their whole career without tasting grand final glory or have the chance to pull on their national kit but at the age of 21 Trent Sainsbury has achieved many of his football dreams.

The Central Coast Mariners young gun is on the verge of making his senior international debut having spent the past week training with the Socceroos as they prepare for the EAFF East Asian Cup.

Sainsbury had a major role in helping the Mariners claim their first A-League grand final win this season which did not go unnoticed by national coach Holger Osieck.

“The call-up was definitely a nice surprise,” said Sainsbury.

“I found out when I was on holiday in England with my girlfriend. It worked out perfectly for me as I got home, had an hour to pack and then went straight into camp.”

Despite coming straight off some rest and recuperation in Europe, Sainsbury made the most of the chance he was given by coach Osieck.

“The camp has been really good. It has been good to see all the boys faces again after a bit of time off and good to get back into things.

“It-s been an interesting experience because you go out in the A-League and everyone is your enemy but now you are best mates.”

With some seasoned Socceroos in the squad the 21-year-old has spent the past week pushing himself in a bid to secure his spot in the final side

“You know you need to be at the level of those guys that have been in the Socceroos squad.

“You have to step up your game, think quicker, play quicker.”

Sainsbury had the opportunity to line up for the Socceroos at the U-17 and U-20 level and would relish the chance to make his senior international debut.

“Playing for Australia no matter what level is a big achievement. I immensely love Australia, I have a tattoo on my back showing my love of the country, and playing for my country was such a proud moment for myself and family and friends.

“I never thought I-d get back to this stage after having a bit of a rough patch after the under 20s. If I were able to break into the squad and match it with the boys I would be speechless.”

The Mariners were well represented at Osieck-s camp in Gosford with Joshua Rose and Mitchell Duke also rewarded for their roles in helping the Central Coast win this season-s Hyundai A-League grand final.

“Both Rosie and Duke have worked hard all season and it was great that they were also called up.

“It is great getting a chance to train alongside players you know and trust.”

The EAFF Asian Cup squad features A-League players exclusively which Sainsbury believes is a direct correlation with the growing strength of the national competition.

“The league is now recognised around the world and is getting stronger.

The fact we can attract the likes of Ono, Del Piero and Heskey to the league says how strong it is going.”

Sainsbury will now join another camp in Sydney for the Socceroos which will take place from Monday July 8 to Friday July 12.