Socceroos striker Andrew Nabbout has hailed former mentor Ernie Merrick for turning his fortunes around and sending him on the way to the World Cup.
Nabbout is keen to keep his fairytale alive after exiting unwanted from both the A-League and the Malaysian Super League to finally return to Australia at Newcastle Jets and transform his fortunes.
His career turnaround ultimately earned him a move to Urawa Reds in the J-League – and a Socceroos call-up
His talent was spotted by van Marwijk who has now started him in the last four friendlies and he’s looking good to be locked in as the starting striker against France on Saturday.
“When Ernie came into the Jets, he propelled my game to the next level,” Nabbout admitted today.
“I wouldn’t say there were turning points, there was just constant gradual build up to this and obviously there are some setbacks in everyone’s career.
“But I think the moment that propelled me was Ernie coming in and taking me to the next level.”
He added: “The [Socceroos] pressing game suits me very well.
“It’s a similar kind of style that we played when I was at Newcastle, that counter-attacking kind of football.
“That’s where I try to exploit teams and get in behind, and try to force an error from defenders.”