Cap number 640 for the Socceroos John Iredale in action during his debut for the national team. Photo Credit: Aleksandar Jason/Subway Socceroos

When John Iredale was named as part of the Socceroos Asian Cup squad earlier this year, a number of people asked the question of just who or what is a John Iredale?

He did not play a minute at the Asian Cup, but he did make his Socceroos debut in the 2-0 victory over Lebanon on Thursday night.

“It meant a lot for me to come on,” Iredale said.

“I’m not just going to come on and be passive. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be active and show I can bring a lot to the team.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get to debut in the Asian Cup, but I think that just made today even more special.”

“I’m also a Sydney boy. I have a lot of family and friends here today.”

There was one person close to Iredale who was unable to be in attendance, who is signified with a tattoo on his left arm which he got “just last week.”

“It’s a line-drawing of me and my Pop (Ross Iredale),” he said describing the tattoo.

“He’s very special to me. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make today.

“I know he says he’s my biggest fan, but he’s in hospital at the moment.

“I know he was watching on TV so shoutout to him, and I hope I can play many more games for him.”

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He has not decided exactly what he is going to do for his tattoo to signify being capped for the national side, but he does have some ideas.

“I’m thinking about doing something with Sydney, cause I’m a Sydney boy and I debuted here, here on my forearm somewhere, so we’ll see what happens in the next weeks or so.”

Iredale was previously part of the Sydney FC academy, being coached by the likes of current Sydney coach Ufuk Talay and Giancarlo Italiano in the under 20’s, and Rob Stanton when he was part of the first-grade NPL side.

He played in an Australia Cup game and a friendly against Arsenal for the Sky Blues, but left Australia before he got a chance to play in the A-League Men.

He says he is keen to show Australia who he is as a player.

“Many of the boys got to play in the A-League before they moved overseas, [and] I didn’t take that pathway.

“I hope moving forward now with the national team I can really show Australian’s who I really am.”

Off the pitch, he wants people to know that he’s a good guy, that he loves his dog (a french bulldog named Joy), that he loves his fiance, and that he just loves football in general.

“I’m excited to show people, not tell them, about how I perform on the pitch.”

The Socceroos are next in action in Canberra on Tuesday, March 26 with kick-off at 7:45pm.

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