Oxborrow buoyed by international experience

Mitch Oxborrow says his recent experience with the Young Socceroos in Spain has lifted him ahead of the A-League season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder Mitch Oxborrow says he is on a high after his experiences with the Young Socceroos at the COTIF U-19 International tournament in Spain over the past fortnight.

Oxborrow said his performances with the Young Socceroos had given him the confidence and drive to push for more game time at Hyundai A-League level with the Jets this season.

“When you do go away with the national team, you-ve just got to do your best to perform while you-re over there, so you can come back to your Club with a positive mindset,” Oxborrow explained.

“Even though there-s a lot of competition for spots at the Jets, there are so many things that can change throughout the season with injuries and form and whatnot.

“When you do get your chance you-ve got to be ready to grab hold of it and not let go.

“As long as you have that mentality where you-re focused on breaking into the squad and actually playing, that-s the main thing.

“If you-re just happy with being another squad member, that-s not going to get you anywhere, but if you keep working hard, it will come eventually.”

Having already represented Australia at U-17 and U-20 level, Oxborrow was one of the Australian squad-s more experienced players in Spain.

The 18-year-old was given the opportunity to lead the Young Socceroos in one of their fixtures at the tournament.

“I captained the side against Saudi Arabia and was vice-captain throughout the rest of the tournament,” Oxborrow said.

“Just to be able wear the armband and lead the boys our while representing my country was an unbelievable feeling that you can-t beat really.

“I played two full games at centre-back and two half-games in the midfield.

“It was something a bit different for me (at centre-back), but I felt like I played pretty consistently at the back and felt comfortable there as well.”

The tournament was used by the Young Socceroos as preparation for the first stage of AFC qualifying for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The first stage of the qualification process is the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers, which will be held in Hong Kong from 3 to 11 October 2013.

“It-s always good to go away and represent your country on the international stage,” Oxborrow said.

“Our first game of the tournament was probably our poorest, but I thought we kept gradually building and improving and by the end of the tournament we were playing some good football.

“I think at the moment we just need to gel as a team and hopefully the results start to come.

“Overall I thought it was a very worthwhile trip.”