Sydney FC young gun Joel King believes two seasoned internationals either side of him helped settle the nerves in his first major test in the Sky Blues’ starting line-up in Round 1.
Having re-signed for another season in May, 18-year-old King praised the support that Captain Alex Wilkinson and Milos Ninkovic gave him throughout the match against Adelaide at Coopers Stadium.
“I was quite nervous going into it but as the game went on I felt more comfortable. I just had to treat it like any other game and I felt like I played good,” King said.
“Having Wilko next to me and Ninko in front of me made it a little easier.
“They told me to be confident, back myself and to just play my normal game, which I did.”
The Shellharbour born youngster said he’s hoping to retain his spot in the side but says it will be a challenge with tough competition and depth in Head Coach Steve Corica’s squad.
“I want to be playing as many games as I can. If [Michael] Zullo is unavailable, hopefully I can keep my spot and fill in when needed,” he said.
“It will be very difficult because Zullo is a quality player but if I do get that chance again I’ll be confident knowing I can play out those games.
“We’ve got five sessions this week between the two games and I want to be at my best all the time.”
Reflecting on the match, King said he was happy with the way he played and glad the team started the new season on a high.
“It’s a big ask to win away from home and to be a part of the experience was incredible,” he said.
“[Head Coach] Steve [Corica] didn’t have too much to say to me other than well done so that’s a good thing.”
The Sky Blues take on Wellington Phoenix this Sunday 20th October at Leichhardt Oval (kick off 6pm AEDT). Get there to back your Sky Blues with tickets available online now, watch on Fox Sports 505 or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for live updates from the clash.