In youngster Josh Allen, the Socceroos have some inspiring support in their corner as they head to the World Cup in Brazil.
For a football mad 15-year-old, there's not much better than getting up close and personal with his Socceroos heroes.
But for Western Sydney Wanderers fan Josh, it does get bigger as he not only met a host of his favourite players at the Socceroos fan day at Kogarah on Saturday but he presented the ball before kick-off at Monday night's farewell friendly against South Africa.
Josh has been dealing with a far greater challenge since September last year, when it was discovered he had a cancerous tumour on the brain stem.
The brave youngster has been receiving regular treatment ever since and staying at Ronald McDonald House® Westmead.
The charity not only lined up the ball presentation before kick-off at ANZ Stadium but will be sending the Allen family to the World Cup.
Josh with his parents Greg and Julie and older brother Todd, will spend a week in Brazil where they will watch the World Cup final in what will be an experience of a lifetime.
"Hopefully the Socceroos will still be there," Josh said as he watched the Socceroos train on Saturday.
"It's going to be an amazing experience."
Mum Julie added: "It's such a beautiful country (Brazil) and they love their football so it's going to be a wonderful trip."
The resilient teenager had a big smile on his face after training on Saturday as he got autographs and had photos with almost every member of the squad.
Wanderers star Matthew Spiranovic was the first to go over to meet Josh, have a photo and sign his new Socceroos jersey, before the rest of the team followed suit.
Josh said he was excited delivering the match ball at Monday night's match but was a little nervous as "there were a lot of people watching".
He said he had too many to single out who his favourite Socceroos player was but as a goal-keeper himself he kept a close eye on Mat Ryan, Eugene Galekovic and Mark Birighitti during Saturday's session.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic injured as Genk exit Europa League
It wasn’t a happy night in the UEFA Europa League for Danny Vukovic as he was stretched off in Genk’s 4-1 loss to Slavia Prague on Friday morning (AEDT). AUSSIES ABROAD: Vukovic features in top-two battle NEW DEAL: In-form Vukovic rewarded with contract extension Still sco
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's plenty for Caltex Socceroos fans to sink their teeth into this weekend with our homegrown heroes gearing up for some massive matches. Mathew Leckie attempts to slay a giant in Germany, two Aussies set aside national team loyalties in Denmark and Aaron Mooy goes on the
In-form Vukovic earns Genk contract extension
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has been rewarded for his excellent form with a two-season contract extension at Belgian club KRC Genk. The 33-year-old's deal was due to expire at the end of the campaign but the Pro League leaders have taken up their option to extend
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit