De Silva on the Roda to Socceroos recognition

If there is to be a bolter on the road to Russia 2018 for Australia it could well be teenager Danny De Silva, who is beginning to turn heads in the Eredivisie with struggling Roda JC.

de Silva

Daniel De Silva has been in impressive form for Roda JC Source: Getty Images

After just eight appearances in his debut season for the Dutch club, which was also once home to compatriots Tomi Juric and Rostyn Griffiths, De Silva has already featured in six of Roda's opening nine league games.

The 19-year-old's talent was on display against Excelsior at the weekend when he provided the assist for David Boysen’s match-winning goal.

Victory lifted Roda off bottom spot and the former Perth Glory prodigy showed in his 88 minutes on the field, playing on the left, that the promise which earned him a call up for last year’s FIFA World Cup qualifier in Kyrgyzstan is beginning to blossom.

He is craving another taste of international football, and if he continues on his current trajectory it may come sooner rather than later.

“Being involved again with the national team is definitely one of my goals,” said De Silva.

 “I didn’t get to play in Kyrgyzstan but being part of that camp was a fantastic experience. It’s important that I play the games here, so I am ready if that opportunity comes my way again.

“Looking at the depth of the Socceroos squad, it’s really deep and seeing how well they are doing just makes me want to step up my game even more and make myself a better player to be a part of that squad again.

“I am sure they are keeping an eye on me ... it’s up to me to do well and hopefully the opportunity will come.”

Vince Grella, one of the more luminous baubles of Australia’s golden generation, is masterminding De Silva’s career in Europe and is unabashed in his belief that he will deliver on his potential.

“Danny is doing his yards and his attitude has been fantastic," Grella said.

"You have to have the right mentality and he has that and he will reap the rewards.

“He has worked extremely hard and I will put on the line everything I have achieved in my 20 year international career to say that the sacrifices and work this kid is putting in now will pay off for him.

“He has the quality to go all the way. He’s still got that humble nature, which I really like, and he’s a good kid from a good family and he’s going to succeed.

“He’s in the category of a Harry Kewell, in that he’s an X-factor player who can win you a game by himself.  He’s a special player and they don’t come around very often.

“They are not too many with his technical ability in our country.”

De Silva is just happy to be on an upward arc and garnering precious match minutes.

“I am making progress, a lot more than last season. I am playing more minutes, whether starting or coming off the bench, and I feel I am making more of an impact his season," he added.

"If you see the player I was last season and this, it’s completely different. I am more mature and I have worked also on the physical aspects of my game."

Known for his sublime touch and eye-catching craft, De Silva has added grunt to his game and puts in many extra hours at training in the quest to take his game to another level.

"In this league three are some elite players, especially when you play the likes of Ajax and PSV and you have to be ready for games physically, mentally, technically and tactically," he said.

He is relishing his European adventure and aims to be on the continent for a decade or more as he develops his game.

“Maybe down the track I can return to play again in Australia but that’s long way down the road," De Silva said.

“Last year was learning curve on and off the field, and seeing how different everything is from Australia gave me a real insight into European football and has set me up for this season."

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4 min read
Published 17 October 2016 at 9:27pm
By Dave Lewis