Joel King has grown up a Sydney boy and after the opportunity arose to return back to his hometown club, he jumped at the chance.
With Denmark not quite working out how he had planned, he reveals what went wrong and how he is ready to prove himself once again in a Sydney FC shirt.
After making 75 appearances for the Sky Blues, Joel King headed off to Europe in a move that he thought would catapult his career, however it didn’t quite continue how it started.
“I was playing a lot of football there at the beginning and I remember making my debut against Copenhagen and I didn’t feel too out of my depth.
“I thought I was competing well but when I went to the bottom teams in the ladder, you were playing on a bad pitch and it was very physical and different football to what I was used to in Australia,” King said.
“The big takeaway from there [Denmark] was playing against those teams that were fighting relegation. Those games get pretty intense and full on and that’s something you just don’t experience in Australia.”
Near the end spell of his time in Denmark, he received a call from Graham Arnold which achieved a lifelong dream of playing at a FIFA World Cup.
“I remember sitting in my apartment in Denmark and I got a call from Arnie and I thought it was to say “sorry, maybe next time” but when he told me I was in the squad I was speechless,” the left back said.
“I called my parents straight away and it was 4:00am in the morning in Australia but they were just as ecstatic as me.
“The atmosphere [amongst the team] was great and everyone was full of confidence. Being on the bench when Leckie scored that goal against Denmark was crazy, like I just can’t believe it,” he continued.
The 22-year-old unfortunately didn’t get on the pitch in Qatar but managed to get a famous photo with a certain Lionel Messi in the tunnel after the Round of 16 clash against eventual winners, Argentina.
“Playing against Argentina in the knockout was something I will never forget too.
“I sort of went looking for a photo and I was lucky enough to get a photo with him, so that was a pretty surreal moment,” King added.
And now Joel is back in his home-town, back where his football journey started and ready to prove himself again.
“I didn’t have too much time off after going to Beijing with the Socceroos but it has been good to be back.
“The team is looking good so I’m excited to get started, play some games and hopefully do very well this year,” the left back concluded.