WHEN you're a goalkeeper trying to make a name for yourself, it doesn't hurt to impress Mark Schwarzer's mentor.
Yesterday, Sunshine Coast keeper Jerrad Tyson's ability to catch the eye of Socceroos goalkeeping coach Tony Franken paid big dividends when he was named in the Youth Socceroos' preliminary squad for the under-20 World Cup in Egypt later this year.
Frank visited Gold Coast United recently, where Tyson is the A-League club's youth keeper, and obviously liked what he saw.
“Tony Franken came to the club to have a look at (injured Gold Coast first choice keeper) Jess van Stratten for the Socceroos, and the three days I spent with Tony obviously impressed him,” Tyson said yesterday. “It's been a really good month for me. First I got a call up to Gold Coast's first choice team sitting on the bench for the first two rounds of the A-League and now this.
“It was a good surprise. I'm certainly very excited about the prospect of being involved with the national team again.”
Tyson, 19, was named Sunshine Coast Fire's player of the year after helping the club to the premiership-championship double last season.
He won one cap for the national youth team, at the 2007 Youth Olympics in Sydney, where he kept a clean sheet to help the Young Socceroos to a 1-0 win over China.
“After that China game a new coach came to the AIS and I fell off the radar a bit, but credit to myself I focussed on playing well for the Fire, which led to being noticed by an A-League club and getting back in the frame again,” Tyson said. “Players wait their whole life to play in big tournaments and there's none bigger than the World Cup.”
After such a long hiatus from the team, Tyson is aware earning selection in the final squad will be a challenge.
The 30-player list will be trimmed to 21 next month and features five stoppers including Tyson, Liverpool's Dean Bouzanis, Leicester City's Alex Cisak, Adelaide's Mark Birighitti and Central Coast's Andrew Redmayne.
“I'd say they'd probably take three (keepers) to a World Cup, but realistically the chance of me getting picked in that team is small seeing as I've been away from the team for so long,” Tyson admitted.
“At this point in time though I'm happy to be back in the shop window.”
The World Cup will be held from September 24 to October 16. Australia has drawn a tough group that includes Brazil, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic.