He’s still got a FIFA U-17 World Cup to come but 2019 has already been a remarkable year for Joeys midfielder Michael Ruhs.
The 17-year-old is part of Trevor Morgan’s 21-player squad that will head to Brazil later this month where they will face Hungary, Ecuador and Nigeria.
His selection in the final squad comes at the backend of a year that has already seen him make a senior debut for Sydney United 58 in the FFA Cup, while he also spent time training at English Premier League club Crystal Palace.
“It was a great experience. Meeting new faces, learning new ways to play the game and different culture in England,” Ruhs said of his 11-day stint with the London club.
“I was training and playing with the U18s. We got the chance to watch the U23s train and also the first team train.
“It was good to see how they train, how their days run, we got to see their schedules and what their day holds. It was really interesting.”
Interesting is one way you could describe Ruhs debut with United in the FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32.
Up against St George, the then-16-year-old was thrust into the action in the dying minutes, only for the Saints to equalise and send the tie into extra-time.
“I then contributed to our fourth goal and then scored the fifth to seal the deal and send us to the Round of 16,” Ruhs recalled.
“It was a very memorable night, I got lots of followers on Instagram and Snapchat after that.
“It was a great experience really and my family was very proud.
“My dad was at the game and he was very emotional after it that his son scored in a first grade game and only being 16. He was so happy.”
Both his time at Palace and his performances with Sydney United have helped earn Ruhs a shot at the best U-17 nations from around the world at the tournament in Brazil.
Asked what it means to get the chance to represent Australia at a World Cup, Ruhs said: “It’s such an honour and a privilege to put on the Green and Gold.
“We’ve progressed a lot since the start of the year and I believe together we’ve become more of a family.
“I think we can put on a good show in the World Cup and really express ourselves. I believe in our ability and our ability can get us across the line in a World Cup final.
“We’re going to be playing different cultures and styles in Brazil but I believe if we take on board what Trevor sets for us we can beat any team.”