Blackpool's Kenny Dougall makes first international start as Australia edge closer to World Cup qualification
Blackpool’s Kenny Dougall made his first international start last night in Australia’s World Cup qualifying win over Chinese Taipei.
The 28-year-old played just over an hour as the Socceroos thrashed Taipei 5-1 to make it six wins out of six in their bid to reach next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
It caps off a whirlwind couple of weeks for the midfielder, who earned his first international cap last week just four days on from scoring the goals that promoted Blackpool to the Championship.
While Dougall didn’t start in Australia’s World Cup qualifying 3-0 victory over Kuwait last Thursday, he came off the bench in the 64th minute to feature for the Socceroos for the first time.
Dougall becomes the 50th player to earn an international cap while playing for the Seasiders. The first player to do so was Fred Griffiths, for Wales, in 1900.
The Gazette’s player of the season becomes the second Blackpool player to represent Australia after David Carney was capped during the 2010/11 season.
While the former Barnsley man had previously represented his country at youth level and had been part of international camps, this was his first senior cap.
Dougall will be hoping to add further caps in the coming days, with Australia taking on Nepal (June 11) and Jordan (June 15).
“It’s been a great week for me personally,” Dougall reflected after making his debut last week.
“Obviously they’re completely different scenarios, but to get an international cap is special and I’ll treasure this moment.
“My family and friends will be over the moon, although they’ll probably say I wasted my goals at the weekend!
“But there’s nothing else to say really, it’s my international debut and I’m really happy.
“I’ve been in a few camps now so I already know a few of the boys, but it’s still special every time I come in and see all the faces.
“This time was no different, but on this occasion I’m delighted to get on the pitch.”
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