Thin White Line editor Ian Kerr took time out from eating Cherry Ripes to talk to Socceroo midfielder James Troisi. James is in Brazil preparing for the World Cup Finals with the Australian squad.
You spent a few years on the books at Newcastle United. How does the emotion of A-League crowds compare to stadiums like St James’ Park?
It’s very different over there, I’d never experienced anything like it. 52,000 at every single game – win, lose or draw! I guess it took me back a bit. You could hear the stomping in the ground and feel the vibrations – especially when you score. It’s a bit tough to compare. Australia is a little bit relaxed and don’t get into it as much like they do overseas. It’s a different culture, different culture…
Does it help your game when you’re playing in front of loud, boisterous, committed crowds? Does it make any difference compared to playing on a suburban ground in front of two men and a dog?
Yeah I love it! I mean it’s very difficult to play in a stadium that’s empty. I love the crowd cheering along even if they are giving you a bit of stick and it actually gets you up for the game even more. I almost want to stick it to them and it spurs me on a bit. Every game I go into, I try to do the best I can, home or away.
What’s the biggest crowd you’ve ever played before?
Probably around 50,000 – 60,000. Maybe St James’ Park. I’ve been lucky enough to play in a few Socceroos games that have drawn big crowds.
What club (or clubs) did you support growing up?
Not so much clubs, more so players. One of the players I really looked up to was Thierry Henry who was playing for Arsenal at the time. I just support good football. You look at your Arsenal, Barcelona; I like that style of football. It’s more so the players that are playing in the leagues.
What are your hopes for the World Cup? Do you reckon you can stick a sneaky goal or two past the Spanish?
I hope so. We’ve got a tough task ahead but we’re going to be positive and every time I step out on that pitch I’m going to give it my all, score goals and do a job for me and the team.
What does playing for the Socceroos mean to you?
It’s pretty much everything to me, especially in the World Cup it’s the highest possible level as a footballer and it doesn’t get much better than this. It’s a childhood dream. It’s been a lot of hard work but I’m in a fortunate position to do this now.
Has your agent found you a sponsor for hair product yet?
Haha no. Well not yet, I guess I’ll be working on that one soon. I’ll have to have a few words with him over in Brazil.
James (along with international stars including Messi, Suarez and Gerrard) will be wearing the adidas Battle Pack boots at the World Cup. Available at adidas.com.au.