The conversation that sparked Souttar's Australia call-up
He’s the Aberdeen-born man-mountain who put himself on the Caltex Socceroos radar with a series of eye-catching performances in Cambodia.
Now, 20-year-old Stoke City defender Harry Souttar is in line to debut for the Green and Gold of Australia in next Friday’s friendly with Korea Republic in Busan.
Souttar – whose mother hails from Port Hedland, WA - pledged his allegiance to Australia in March after accepting a call-up to Graham Arnold’s squad for the AFC Under-23 Championship qualifying campaign.
The centre-back's path to the national team was engendered in a conversation with Australian ‘keeper and Stoke teammate Adam Federici when the pair crossed paths at the English Championship club last year.
“He spoke to people from Australia and they got in touch with me and I met Rene [Meulensteen] in Blackpool, when I was on loan at Fleetwood Town,” Souttar told www.socceroos.com.
“He basically said ‘would you play for us’ and I said ‘I’d love to’. That’s how it all started.”
“He came to see me a couple of times this year.
"He didn’t have to sell anything to me because I wanted to play for Australia.
“He was just telling me about the way we play, what we like to do, about the boss and how he is like. It was a good chat about my football and my plans for the future, and Australia’s plans for the future.”
Souttar’s older brother John – who plies his trade in the Scottish Premier League for Heart of Midlothian - is already a Scotland international.
“I know my brother’s chosen to play for Scotland but I’ve chosen to play for Australia,” Souttar continued.
“All of our family are really proud of the both of us and there’s not really been any bad press there. It’s just something where we’re both taking different paths in our footballing careers.”