He’s enjoyed a standout season in Sky Blue, qualifying for another A-League Grand Final and taking home the Young Footballer of the Year award, but Joel King’s latest achievement ranks as one of his best.
The 19-year-old left back has been selected in Head Coach Graham Arnold’s Olyroos squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and before jetting off for Japan we caught up with King to get his thoughts on what’s ahead.
How does it feel to be going to the Olympics?
It’s something I didn’t expect to be achieving that’s for sure! But as cliche as it sounds, it really is a dream come true.
What were you thinking when you got the call up? Were you expecting it?
I actually got the call the night of the Grand Final, so I wasn’t in the best mood. I honestly didn’t expect to be selected knowing some of the other left backs both in Australia and abroad.
What are you hoping to bring to the team?
I hope I can contribute support in attack but most importantly be strong in defence. Some of the teams we are versing are world class in attack. It’s going to be a big shift in defence but it’s a challenge that I’m extremely looking forward to.
What are you expecting playing under Graham Arnold?
From the little time I’ve spent with Graham Arnold I’ve learnt quickly that he has a strong and positive mindset. We aren’t going into these games to not lose, we are going into them with the confidence to beat our opponents. He has all the confidence in us that we can earn a medal here at the Olympics.
Where does being called up rank in your list of achievements?
I think for sure I’ve had some great achievements at Sydney FC with the Grand Finals and all but I think representing your country on the world stage is something you can’t beat. It’s definitely my biggest achievement so far.
It’s been a standout season for you, what have you made of it?
We most definitely didn’t have our best season and still managed to come 2nd and make a GF which is some achievement. The boys in this team are truly something special and I love training and playing with them week in week out.