Coyne's dream very real
Chris Coyne may see his international dream come to life on Saturday
Dubai: Two months ago Chris Coyne thought he-d blown his chance for international football, when a back spasm in a pre-game warm-up forced him out of a match for his English club side Colchester United.
In the stands that day was Socceroos assistant coach Henk Duut, who was eyeing off Coyne, with the likely absence of Lucas Neill foreshadowed for the majority of the qualifiers, due to his wife giving birth to twins.
But given a second chance to come and train with the squad in the lead up to the Ghana match, Coyne has continued on with the squad and will possibly make his long awaited international debut on Saturday night against Iraq.
“I thought it (the opportunity) was done and dusted then,” Coyne said after training, where he was slotted into a back three formation for the entire session. “Fortunately I was given the opportunity to come to Sydney and train with the boys and I must have impressed.
“He-s (Verbeek) then given me the chance to come to Brisbane and have another crack at it. So I am fortunate that I am training with the boys; come over here to try and earn a spot and I will keep trying my hardest to get that shirt on my back.
Coyne was used in between Jade North on the right and Michael Beauchamp on the left and looked composed and assured, using all his experience he has gained since moving to Europe almost 13 years ago.
But the level headed 29-year-old wasn-t claiming a spot in Saturday night-s game just yet.
“It-s early days yet; we-ve only just got here,” he said. “It-s the first real training session and it-s not a case of counting your chickens; we are working on things and that-s obviously one of the things the manager is looking at.
“Whether that happens on Saturday we-ll see, but obviously I-d like to keep working in the starting eleven and if that-s the case then so be it.
“Any time you get an opportunity to represent your country is important and I-ll take it one step at a time. Like I said it early days yet; it-s the first real session we-ve done and when that time comes and the team is named, hopefully I am in it.”
Coyne certainly wasn-t afraid to tell his more experienced team members, what to do, where they should be and that-s one of things that has impressed Verbeek; his leadership qualities.
“They are no different to anybody else out there are they,” Coyne said. “There are 11 players on a football field and whether they are superstars or not, it-s still a game of football, with two goals and a round thing (ball) in the middle.
“Obviously you-ve got to respect people that I go out play with, because they-re your peers. There is a mutual respect and a very good atmosphere in the dressing room and its one we carry onto the training ground as you saw.”
If he does get on the park on Saturday night, it will fulfill a life long dream, but if he doesn-t he will just work harder in order to get that chance.
“You set goals in your life to achieve something and I-ve always said I wanted to achieve the honour of representing my country and given that opportunity, I would like to grab it with both hands. If it doesn-t, I will keep trying; I will keep getting on with it; I will keep grafting away because that-s the sort of person I am.”
As for what Verbeek has said to him, Coyne was keeping that close to his chest, but he did say that he was impressed with his communication skills and how he treats his players, which is half the battle.
“He is a good communicator to start with; he speaks well with all the boys either socially or professionally; he-s always got a word for the lads. He-s said a few words in my ear, but I would expect that from any manager, because it-s his team and he wants to play it his way.”
If the chance does come on Saturday, Coyne certainly gives the impression he won-t be nervous and believes his many years of experience, which has included a long stint as Luton Town captain, will serve him well.
“We-ll see when the time comes, but I am 30 years old now; it-s not like I am a spring chicken coming into this setup. I am an older player of experience; I have played a lot of games in Europe now and if this is my time, then it-s my time, but it-s not something that-s not going to daunt me.
“I am not going to dwell on the fact that it-s just another 90 minutes, albeit for your country. It-s something that I have looked at for a long time as one of my goals and I am not going to let it slip away, given the opportunity.”
With Colchester relegated down to League One in England, he was asked if he might look at this as a launching pad to move to a club back in The Championship or perhaps Premier League, which is still another of his goals to achieve.
“Obviously getting an international call up could be a catalyst to bigger and better things; you never know its one of things that does put you into the spotlight. Clubs are then going to start taking notice of where you are and what you are up to, especially when you have got a good squad here with players from all over Europe, so if that does happen then so be it.”