Leckie: How Arnold is making Socceroos culture 'that much better'

Like many footballers across Australia, Mat Leckie dreamed of playing for the Socceroos growing up.

Since making his senior debut in 2012, the Hertha Berlin winger has loved his time with the national team so far, which his seen him represent the Socceroos 63 times.

However, beyond the pitch, the culture and environment with the Socceroos has led to experiences he didn't foresee and memories that will last a lifetime.

“The environment is good, obviously we’ve got a great bunch of guys and I’ve been able to experience a lot of things,” Leckie told the Fox Football Podcast.

“I’ve gone to two World Cups, we won the Asian Cup, even qualifiers are an experience. Until you’ve done it, you can’t really explain how it is.

“Even going to some tough places sometimes is an experience that you never would be able to get. You get to see parts of the world, how they live and how it all works over there. You’d never normally see that sort of stuff.

“Everyone dreams to play for Australia, but just the environment and the games, I can’t explain why but I just love playing for the national team.”

Awer Mabil Mat Leckie
Leckie (L) and Awer Mabil in Socceroos training

On the pitch Leckie has thrived for the Socceroos, and off of it he has enjoyed working under coach Graham Arnold.

That's despite Leckie admitting he's not normally the type of player who looks to constantly interact with the coach.

“I’m not the type of guy that loves to speak everyday with my coach," said Leckie. 

"I just like to do my thing on the pitch and obviously have a normal relationship with them, but I don’t need to be best buddies with my coach.”

He added: “Arnie is a very open guy, he likes to have a good relationship with all the players. There’s always a few of us, I think three of four, that aren’t leadership group, where he tries to get feedback from as well.”

“I’ve never been a part of anything with Arnie. I’ve seen he’s been successful with Sydney, but I had never seen how he was as a coach. It’s really good."

Mathew Leckie
Leckie (L) and Graham Arnold (R)

Leckie believes that's led to an even more enjoyable and productive environment and culture within the Socceroos.

“The environment in the national team is always good and Arnie has made it that much better. He wants us to have fun," said Leckie. 

"He wants us to enjoy it and obviously performing on the pitch makes that all happen.”

With club football only recently making its return, and despite not knowing what the future for the national team will look like, Leckie says that he is looking forward to being in the setup again.

“I’m looking forward to the future with the national team, whenever that will be, who knows," he said.

"The boys have a few Zoom meetings, but I haven’t been able to make it because I’ve always been training."

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