Queenslanders from Cairns to the Gold Coast have achieved milestone moments during a huge month of international football.
In June, Brisbane products Teagan Micah and Kenny Dougall made their national team debuts for the Matildas and the Socceroos respectively, while Cairns-born striker Aiofe Colvill earned her first senior international cap for the Republic of Ireland.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast striker Lyndon Dykes played all three of Scotland games in Euro 2020, Cairns-born Mary Fowler scored her first goal for the Matildas against Denmark, and former Palm Beach defender Kye Rowles has been called up for the Olyroos.
A former Queensland Academy of Sport goalkeeper, Micah kept a clean sheet on debut as the Matildas drew 0-0 with Sweden on 16 June.
“To be honest, I can’t believe I’m here now,” Micah said following her debut. “For me, there’s no greater honour than representing my country.”
Redcliffe-raised Micah made 12 appearances for Norwegian club Arna-Bjørnar last year before returning home to play for Melbourne City in the W-League.
Micah, 23, now turns her attention to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Dougall made his international debut as the Socceroos defeated Kuwait 4-0 in the second round of World Cup Qualifiers.
It capped off an incredible week for the newly-crowned “King Kenny”, who just days earlier scored two goals in Blackpool’s League One playoff win over Lincoln FC at Wembley Stadium.
“It was a great week for me personally – obviously completely different scenarios – but to get an international cap is special and I’ll always treasure this moment,” said Dougall after coming on as a second-half substitute for the Socceroos.
Dougall, 28, is a familiar face in Queensland football, having risen through the ranks for Samford Rangers and Brisbane City before establishing himself in England with Blackpool.
The new Socceroo will now focus on cementing his place in the national team.
Former Canberra United striker Colvill made her international debut for the Republic of Ireland in a 3-2 friendly loss to Iceland in Reykjavík.
Colvill, who was born in Cairns and played junior football for Southside Comets, previously played for the Young Matildas in 2018 before switching her allegiance to Ireland.
Now playing for Glasgow City in the Scottish Women’s Premier League, Colvill told FAI.TV that she felt “honoured” to represent her mum’s side of the family.
“Growing up in Cairns, we had a really good Irish and Scottish community that my mum was friends with, so I always had that connection,” she said.
Another Australian to pledge their allegiances to their ancestral nation is Lyndon Dykes, who played all three games for Scotland at Euro 2020.
The big striker was raised on the Gold Coast to Scottish parents, playing for junior clubs Mudgeeraba SC and Merrimac FC before making a name in the National Premier Leagues with Redlands United and Gold Coast City FC.
Dykes, who spent five years in Scottish Premier League with Queen of the South and Livingston, made his debut for Scotland last year during the UEFA Nations League.
“My family would have been proud whatever I picked,” he recently told FourFourTwo of his choice between Australia and Scotland.
“I went with what I felt was right – I wanted to give back to Scotland what they gave me.”
Hailed as the brightest wonderkid in Australian football, 18-year-old Mary Fowler scored her first international goal in Australia’s 1-1 draw against Denmark.
It has been a meteoric rise for the Cairns-born striker, whose road to stardom began as a junior player with Leichhardt Lions in Far North Queensland.
After making her international debut in 2018, Fowler moved from Adelaide United in the W-League to French side Montpellier.
Fowler is the youngest of nine Queenslanders in an 18-strong Matildas squad set to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“As a kid, it was the one dream that I had, just going to Olympics,” said Fowler.
After a breakout A-League season for the Central Coast Mariners, Kye Rowles was selected in the Olyroos team set to compete at the 2020 Olympics.
The 23-year-old central defender, who grew up on the Gold Coast and played junior football for Palm Beach, won the Players’ Player Award after helping the Mariners to the Finals Series.
Rowles has previously played for the Australian U-17 side and will no doubt be a valuable addition to the Olyroos as coach Graham Arnold predicts his team will “shock the world” in Tokyo.
Words: Charlotte Monteath