Metcalfe delighted with high-scoring Socceroos on Melbourne return
Connor Metcalfe was at the heart of everything for the Subway Socceroos on Thursday night; the midfielder notching two assists in a creative masterclass from the former Melbourne City man.
Having come through the youth system at City into the first team, he said playing once again at AAMI Park was a special moment.
Despite providing for his teammates, he said he craved a goal of his own, however, he was pleased with what the Socceroos showed.
He noted it was a change of gears for the team following tough games against the world’s best, where the focus was on defending well.
“It was pretty special being back. I’ve spent many years here and starting for your country is always an honour,” Metcalfe said.
“I thought we did really well as a team.
“We knew what it was going to be like before the game. I think our last two or three games have been against tougher opposition where we’ve had to be on the defensive side and try to counter attack. But tonight we knew that we’d have most of the possession and our main goal was to finish our chances because even against England and Mexico we had plenty of chances to win the game but just didn’t capitalise.
“I think tonight just shows that we’ve got the quality to do that [create and finish chances], and we’re definitely going to take that into the next game.”
Metcalfe opened up on the importance of his relationship with fellow Socceroo midfielder Jackson Irvine.
The two have been instrumental in St Pauli’s rise to the top of the 2. Bundesliga in Germany and were on the pitch together for the first half against Bangladesh.
“He’s helped me a lot. He’s the captain at my club,” Metcalfe said.
“He’s a big role model on and off the field. He’s always there to tell me when to pull my head in or to do better on the pitch.
“He’s got that experience I think I lack, and I’m just trying to take it and learn.”
Metcalfe also explained that the attacking quality he showed on Thursday night has come from a change in role at St Pauli.
“The attacking side of my game has probably become a bit better because I’m playing a different role at my club compared to what I was playing back at City,” Metcalfe said.
“So I’ve had to adapt to that situation, and I think being able to play two or three different positions benefits me, and it gives me much more opportunity to play.”
Metcalfe said he wants to make himself an integral part of coach Graham Arnold’s plans for the 2026 World Cup.
Qualifying for the tournament continues on Wednesday morning when the Socceroos face Palestine.
FIFA WORLD CUP 2026™️ SECOND ROUND ASIAN QUALIFIERS:
Palestine v Subway Socceroos
Tuesday, 21 November
Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium, Kuwait
Kick-off: 5.00pm (local) / 1am AEDT (Wednesday, 22 November)
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+