New Socceroo Duke describes 'dream come true'

The Central Coast Mariner pulled on the green and gold at full international level for the first time on Saturday, and is now setting the bar even higher

Mitchell Duke says making his first appearance for Australia was a dream come true and he is now setting the bar even higher, by aiming to play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the Brazil.

Duke, 22, earned his first cap for the senior national team against South Korea in the opening game of the East Asian Cup in Seoul on Saturday.

It has been a meteoric rise for the young striker, who broke into the Central Coast Mariners' first team as they won the A-League title last season.

"[It's] my dream come true playing for the Socceroos, [I] soaked it all up, enjoyed the experience, [I'm] really thankful that I got the opportunity to be involved let alone play (from the start), so it's unreal," he said.

Duke endured a tough introduction to international football at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, where the hosts dominated Australia throughout and were only held to a 0-0 draw by the heroics of Socceroos goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic, meaning the debutant saw little time on the ball.

"I think for all the boys it was a bit of a hard, grind-out session," Duke said.

"The boys are coming off holidays or haven't played a full game in a long time, so it was good to get that game out of the way and get a draw.

"I was hoping (for more time on the ball) but that's just the way the game goes sometimes. You've just got to grind it out and that's what we were doing. But I'll take the first cap."

With the World Cup less than 12 months away, Duke hopes to take advantage of the lack of traditional centre-forwards in the reckoning for a place in the Socceroos' squad.

"Definitely," he said when asked if the showcase event in South America was on his radar.

"I'm hoping I can do a good enough job and impress and show what I have to offer and I'm hoping what I have to offer is enough to be in the Socceroos squad of the future.

But for now Duke's immediate challenge is to keep his place for the game against Japan on Thursday and continue to impress Australia coach Holger Osieck.

"Every game's an opportunity to impress and do as well as you can," he said.

"Unfortunately the first game was a bit of a grind ... but Holger was happy with what I did, as much as I could do. So hopefully the next couple of games I can feature a bit more, get more of the ball. And maybe put some in the back of the net too."

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