Duke made his senior debut with the Central Coast Mariners under Arnold and wore the captain’s armband at Western Sydney Wanderers last year before moving up to Japan’s second division. He is one of 20 players in Arnold’s 26-man squad to have risen through the ranks at an A-League club, and eight of them currently play football at home, including one of Australia’s best Cup players. of the World, the star of Adelaide United. Craig Goodwin, who scored against France and set up Duke’s game-winning goal against Tunisia.
It’s been a tough few years for the A-League as a consumer product, but Duke reckons the men’s competition, which resumes on December 9, deserves far more credit than it gets for its standard on the pitch, not just in Australia, where English Premier League-obsessed fans tend to look down on it, but also around the world, where it’s not taken seriously.
“It’s only going to grow and get more respect, the better we do in the [international] stage,” he said.
“Especially with A-League talent performing on the world stage as well. [which] is key to that, and so far, I think we’ve been doing a brilliant job. I hope it gets more attention and gets more attention, because the game deserves it.
“I think the A-League is very underrated and not as respected, globally, as it should be, because if you talk to a lot of foreigners who go to that league, they say it’s a shock to the system about how physical it is and the quality there is.
“Hopefully that will continue to increase attention, and I would love to see that happen as well, after this World Cup and be more in the conversation.”
Kye Rowles, who played defense for the Mariners last year but jumped right into international soccer as he has done all his life, said the strength of the Socceroos and the number of euphoric moments they can produce for the nation enjoy like Saturday night – is directly related to the health of the A-League
“Obviously it’s great to have such support for the national team. You know the whole country is behind us on this stage,” Rowles said.
“But obviously, the team is also made up of a lot of A-League players, and they are contributing enormously to us going forward and what we have already achieved so far.
“If we could get their attention for the home league, it would be huge for the future, helping those types of players get into the Socceroos and continue to build the national team to a higher level, and get the A-League. the respect it deserves as well.”