The Hairdryer: Socceroos squad and 2022?
With controversy over Qatar 2022 refusing to go away, the team take a look out how national squads are shaping up for Brazil 2014.PT6M9S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39inf 620 349 June 4, 2014
Vitoria: His mum taught him never to get too big for his boots, now Socceroo striker Adam Taggart knows he has some mighty shoes to fill.
Taggart was expected to be left out of coach Ange Postecoglou's final 23-man World Cup squad on Tuesday but Josh Kennedy's omission due to a back injury opened the door for the Newcastle Jets young gun.
Taggart spent his 21st birthday on Monday playing in the Socceroos' warm-up match against Brazilian division two side Parana Clube in place of the injured Kennedy.
Unimaginable opportunity: Josh Kennedy's omission has opened the door for Newcastle Jets young gun, Adam Taggart. Photo: Getty Images
Scoring in the 2-0 victory, he proved though he may lack the veteran strikers' height and aerial ability he makes up for it with pace, persuading Postecoglou to rewarded him with the ultimate present.
After the team was told the news over breakfast on Tuesday, Taggart said the first person he contacted was his mum Sue.
"She someone who tried to implement a mindset since I was a little kid, don't get too big for your boots," he said.
"It's something I have tried to concentrate on, and not think I am better than what I do on the field.
"At the same time I need to dream big. As a little kid you talk about your dreams and now to finally reach it ... words can't describe."
As big as he dreamed, Taggart says just month ago he never imagined being at the World Cup.
By the end of a blistering A-League season, where his 16 goals earned him the golden boot award, Taggart was seen as bolter for Brazil.
"Throughout the season when being asked about the national team I didn't want to get too far ahead of myself," he said.
"At 21 years old it is something I would never even be able to imagine being in a World Cup."
Taggart is two years younger than Kennedy was at his first World Cup in 2006.
He says he's always looked up to the veteran striker, who earned 37 caps.
"It sort of hits you this morning when you see the players who missed out, the likes of Josh Kennedy who is extremely unlucky with his back," he says.
"He's someone I looked up to as a young kid and now to try fill his shoes and carry on the hard work he has put in to every game he has played for his country."
Since scoring on debut in 2006, the goals kept coming for Kennedy.
He netted 20 times in his 37 appearances, including the decisive goal that sealed Australia's spot in Brazil.
But the 31-year old leaves Brazil having never scored at a World Cup, but Taggart is determined to get his name on the scorer's sheet at the tournament.
"To feel as though I'm contributing to the team and scoring goals that's all I think about," he said.
"Scoring goals is not at the back of my mind, it is right at the front."