Two Talents Ready To Take Socceroos Chance

When the Qantas Socceroo squad was announced on Friday, it contained the names of two outstanding young talents that are destined for big futures in the game.

When the Qantas Socceroo squad was announced on Friday, it contained the names of two outstanding young talents that are destined for big futures in the game.

Queensland Roar-s Spase Dilevski (pictured right) and Perth Glory-s Nick Ward have impressed many good judges with their play during the Hyundai A-League this season, but to get a call up to the national team has certainly capped off a great year.

It is no surprise that both were somewhat shocked by their selection, but ready for the challenge that lays ahead.

“It-s everything I ever dreamed of for a long time,” said Dilevski, he told “I have played in every other national team and the Socceroos was the next level and I very happy with my selection.

“I will do everything I can to stay in there,” he added emphatically.

As for Ward, he knew something was on the cards when he was called into see Graham Arnold and Johan Neeskans while in camp with the Under 23 squad in Canberra.

“I had an inkling when they called me in that it might be about that, but even though I had had a good season, they sat me down and said I have been included in the squad for Bahrain. I couldn-t believe it and I was just rapped.

“Actually I was ecstatic,” Ward added.

Both have got no expectations of what lies in store and know that given they are the youngest players in the squad, they would be outsiders to make the starting eleven.

“I wouldn-t think that I would start, but if I get an opportunity I want to make the most of it,” said Ward.

“I want to go there and in the training sessions I want to train well and I want Arnie and Johan to notice me and hopefully I-ll get an appearance.”

As for Dilevski, “I am not going to get carried away at the moment. I will go there train hard, show what I can do and at the end of the day, it-s the coaches decision as to who plays.

“I am fairly relaxed about it and be happy about being included in the national team.”

There inclusion in the squad has come after they performed exceptionally well during the Hyundai A-League with Ward (pictured left) in particular a standout for Perth.

However both encountered indifferent starts to their campaign with Dilevski not get a club to start, despite playing with Melbourne Victory in the Club World Championships, while Ward was forced to bide his time on the bench in the early games, despite a very impressive pre-season.

Dilevski only signed with Queensland initially as a short-term contract player and with the retirement of Tae-Yong Shin after just one game because of an ankle injury, the 20-year-old suddenly found himself with a permanent contract.

“I was actually in talks with a few clubs in Germany and I thought I would train here in Australia and when something more concrete came up I would head back over there,” said Dilevski.

“I spoke to Ernie (Merrick at Melbourne Victory), but its just didn-t work out between both of us, so I decided to go elsewhere.

“But when Queensland offered me something and we played a few games, I could see the League was going to be up to standard, I turned down those deals and I decided to stay in Australia.”

“The A-League started quite slowly for me,” Ward said. “I wasn-t getting starts, even though I had a really good pre-season and given no reasons why. I just had to bide my time and I got my chance and I have taken it, so to speak.”

Both believe that there experience with previous youth national teams will help in some ways, but know that this is a big step up.

“I think we will go a whole new level now,” said Dilevski. “I really enjoyed my experience with the other teams, but even now it-s a completely different feeling to when I was chosen for the other teams.

“Until I go and train I don-t really know, but I think it will be a whole new level.”

No matter what happens in Bahrain, this experience will live with these two young men for the rest of their lives and will hopefully be the start of a long international career for the two.