Cole continues meteoric climb

Just two months ago he was still playing in the New South Wales Premier League, now Sydney FC utility, Shannon Cole is on the verge of living every young footballer’s dream

Just two months ago he was still playing in the New South Wales Premier League, now Sydney FC utility, Shannon Cole is on the verge of living every young footballer-s dream after he and team-mate, Stuart Musialik were named in the Socceroos- squad for Australia-s next World Cup qualifier against Qatar.

The 24-year-old was the biggest bolter in Head Coach, Pim Verbeek-s extended side, and he took some convincing when first informed of his selection.

“I-ve got the kind of mates that would stitch me up like that so when I got the call I was a bit hesitant to believe it, but I was very flattered of course,” said the former Sydney Olympic star.

Cole was the final signing to Sydney FC-s senior squad and since first getting his chance to shine during the Sky Blues- injury-riddled start the Hyundai A-League season, he hasn-t looked back.

While his National call-up is a surprise to many, not least himself, the versatile right footer is determined not to let it affect his approach to the game.

“Obviously it-s surreal if I were to sit back and have a look at what-s transpired over the last couple of months,” he reflected. “I-ve just got to think about the game for Sydney on Saturday, I guess I-ve been playing ok up to this point to get that acknowledgement so I-ve just got to keep improving and playing well for my club.”

While he-s doing his best to keep his mind on the job, Cole is excited about the chance to train and play alongside Australia-s best.

“If that does happen I-ll definitely be taking my little book and pen and camera,” he said. “I already play with a bunch of my heroes here (at Sydney FC) so just to train and to see those guys doing what they do would be incredible.”

Stuart Musialik is more at home among the football elite, having already taken part in a number of national camps and starred for Australia-s Under 23s at the recent Beijing Olympics, but despite his experience, he-s no less excited about his Socceroo selection.

“I was in the squad for the China game and didn-t get to get a run so just to know that I-m in that loop is very encouraging,” the midfield general explained. “Hopefully if I keep doing the right things and working hard, then hopefully my chance will come sooner rather than later.”

Musialik has been one of the keys to Sydney-s success so far this season, and he-s confident we-ll see more of the same with the Australian coach watching on this Saturday.

“It-ll always be in the back of your mind, the opportunity that-s there,” the 23-year-old said. “At the end of the day I-ll do everything I can just to focus on the job with Sydney though, especially after last week-s loss. It-s very important for us to come out this week and make up for it and get the three points.”

The 35 man Socceroo squad is likely to be trimmed following this-weekend-s round of matches, with those who survive the cut set to go into camp in Queensland next Wednesday.

Cole and Musialik will have their chance to impress when Sydney hosts the Roar at the SFS on Saturday night.

The game kicks off after the National Youth League curtain-raiser at 7pm.

The full 35-man Socceroo squad is as follows:

Mark BRESCIANO U.S. Citta di Palermo (Italy) Jacob BURNS FC Unirea Valahorum (Romania) Tim CAHILL Everton (England) David CARNEY Sheffield United FC (England) Scott CHIPPERFIELD FC Basel (Switzerland) Shannon COLE Sydney FC (Australia) Robert CORNTHWAITE Adelaide United (Australia) Ante COVIC Newcastle Jets (Australia) Chris COYNE Colchester United FC (England) Jason CULINA PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) Bruce DJITE Genclerbirligi SK (Turkey) Brett EMERTON Blackburn Rovers (England) Eugene GALEKOVIC Adelaide United (Australia) Richard GARCIA Hull City FC (England) Vincenzo GRELLA Blackburn Rovers (England) Brett HOLMAN AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands) Scott JAMIESON Adelaide United (Australia) Mile JEDINAK Central Coast Mariners (Australia) Josh KENNEDY Karlsruher SC (Germany) Harry KEWELL Galatasaray SK (Turkey) Scott MCDONALD Celtic FC (Scotland) Craig MOORE Queensland Roar (Australia) Stuart MUSIALIK Sydney FC (Australia) Lucas NEILL West Ham United FC (England) Jade NORTH Newcastle Jets (Australia) Michael PETKOVIC Sivasspor (Turkey) Paul REID Adelaide United (Australia) Mark SCHWARZER Fulham FC (England) Matt SIMON Central Coast Mariners (Australia) Matthew SPIRANOVIC FC Nurnberg (Germany) Shane STEFANUTTO FC Lyn Oslo (Norway) Mile STERJOVSKI Derby County FC (England) Archie THOMPSON Melbourne Victory (Australia) Alex WILKINSON Central Coast Mariners (Australia) Luke WILKSHIRE FK Dinamo Moscow (Russia)