Iredale reflects on 'very special' Socceroos debut in home city

John Iredale has now become a fixture of the Socceroos squad, with the forward getting his debut on Thursday night against Lebanon, at a ground that means a lot to him and his family.

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The Parramatta public had been hoping for the Wehen Wiesbaden star's debut to happen while he was playing in Western Sydney, with the Iredale's a fixture in the local footballing community, with John's youth football having been played just up the hill in Macquarie for Spirit FC. 

It was fitting then that the Spirit boy was selected and debuted by perhaps the most famous Northern Spirit player of all, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold. Iredale spoke to FA media about the debut and what it meant to have all his loved ones around him.

"It means the world to me, it's something I've had of dreams of since I was a young boy."

"To achieve that at home here in Sydney, in front of family and friends is very special."

"I had my father, my grandparents, a few cousins and aunties and uncles and some of my best friends. So it means a lot to have them here."

"Of course, there were a couple of games I wanted to play but we're a big group of boys and everybody has to play their role and my role was to keep the boys going, keep pushing them during trainings. Having done that, just made it even more special today."

Introduced midway into the second half, with the strong Commbank Stadium crowd in party mode following Kye Rowles second goal, Iredale reflects on how he composed himself before coming on the pitch.

"It was quite calm because I've been training with the boys throughout the whole Asian Cup. I felt at home straightaway, as I was warming up down the sideline."

"And when he called me over, I knew it was my time. And I felt like the stadium became quiet and I was just ready to perform."

Asked if there was any advice or last words given from the coaching staff before being substituted onto the field, the 24-year-old replies:

"They just said have fun. They said, if you see the goal, have a shot, because I've got a good shot on me. Unfortunately I didn't get a goal today but that's not everything. It's taking that first step on the pitch with the boys and getting a win, one step closer to the next World Cup stage."

It has almost become tradition for debutants to get their cap number tattooed on their body, so will Iredale ink #640 anytime soon?

"Yeah, I think as soon as I get home, I'm gonna get one, I'm sure."



Subway Socceroos 2:0 Lebanon
Thursday, 21 March 2024
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-off: 8.10pm AEDT

Lebanon v Subway Socceroos
Tuesday, 26 March 2024
GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 7.45pm AEDT
Tickets: Start from $15 Child, $20 Concession, $25 Adult, and $50 Family via Ticketek
Broadcast: 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+