It’s always great to see a young player called up from the Mariners Academy and on Saturday evening at Suncorp Stadium 18-year-old Jordan Smylie earned that achievement when he debuted in the Hyundai A-League.
After Tuesday’s training session and a few days to let it all sink in, Smylie fronted the media for the first time and reflected on a very proud career milestone.
There was only one word Smylie could use to sum up the experience: unbelievable.
“It was an absolutely unbelievable experience – words just can’t describe it,” Smylie said. “I was really shocked when I found out I would be travelling to Brisbane.
“Walking on the pitch and looking up to see how big the stadium was, it was unbelievable. It was a tough game but a really good experience for me,” Smylie said.
Smylie played his junior football with Berowra FC, Northern Tigers and the Mongo Football Academy before being called into the Central Coast Mariners’ Foxtel National Youth League squad in October 2017.
With less than 12 months under his belt at the Mariners Academy, Smylie credited the club for welcoming him with open arms and knows the hard work must continue.
“Everyone here has been really welcoming,” Smylie said. “It’s a great community club and the support from the fans and everyone at the club has been amazing.
“I am just going to continue to work as hard as I can. Hopefully I can earn myself another opportunity but I will just take each session as it comes. Training with the A-League boys has been tough but that’s what you expect when you step up to this level.
“I’ve worked really hard to get here and I am just going to keep trying my best to earn another opportunity,” Smylie said.
Three days on from his debut at Suncorp, Smylie says that he has been overwhelmed with the support he’s received from family and friends who are incredibly proud. The Berowra junior also spoke about the moment he was called up.
“My family and friends have been so supportive,” Smylie said. “After training last Friday Sully told me that I was ready to travel so I packed my bags and I was off to Brisbane.
“The first person I called was my mum – she was very proud,” Smylie said.
A Mariners fan from way back, Smylie also revealed who his favourite former player is.
“Watching the Mariners, I really liked Pedj Bojic – he was quality and I really looked up to him,” Smylie said.