Adam Taggart has described the excitement of making his Socceroos debut during last week’s East Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Hong Kong.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets forward Adam Taggart has described the excitement of making his Socceroos debut during last week-s East Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Hong Kong.
Taggart became the 553rd player to be capped for Australia when he came on as a second-half substitute in the opening match of the tournament against the host nation.
“It was an exciting moment,” Taggart said.
“Obviously there were a lot of boys making their debut as well, so it was good to have others feeling the same way and it was a good experience.
“To be honest, before the whole tournament I didn-t really expect anything, so to make a couple of appearances was something I was extremely happy with and I couldn-t have asked for a better experience really.”
Taggart said he tried to take in as much as he could from the experienced players in the squad including the likes of Brett Emerton, Richard Garcia and Archie Thompson.
“It was definitely something I could really learn from because a lot of those players have played at World Cups and at such a high level,” he said.
“You watch and learn everything they-re doing on and off the field and it was a privilege to be a part of it."
Taggart netted his first Socceroos goal in their final match against Chinese Taipei. He went on to score a brace as Australia went on to secure qualification for the East Asian Cup with an 8-0 victory.
“It-s always good scoring goals, but I think for your country it-s a little bit extra special, so that was really good,” Taggart said.
Jets head coach Gary van Egmond praised Taggart for his achievements and said he was happy to have him back training with the rest of the Jets squad.
“It-s great that he-s been selected for the national team. If we-re all truthful, it was a bit of a surprise, but a really welcome surprise,” van Egmond said.
“He-s gone over there and done well. He-s played for his country and scored for his country and I-m pretty sure that will give him added confidence coming back to Newcastle and hopefully that-s infectious with the rest of the group too.
“Now that we can get a bit more consistency in the training environment with him, I-m sure you-ll start to see him feature more.”
Having only made four appearances for the Jets so far this A-League season due to his commitments with the Young Socceroos and Socceroos, Taggart said he was looking forward to spending more with his Club.
“It-s lovely to come back and put all my focus into the A-League now and do as much as I can for the Jets,” he said.