Socceroos hopeful’s big debt to A-League club

Sammy Silvera has credited the Central Coast Mariners for helping him rediscover a “love” for football that has led to a move to England and the likelihood of his first Socceroos cap on Sunday against Mexico.

The 22-year-old attacker returned to the Mariners last season desperate to realise his potential after a less-than-fulfilling stint with three Portuguese clubs and the Newcastle Jets.

His decision to head back to the Gosford-based club, where he had spent the 2019-20 A-League season, proved to be a masterstroke.

Not only did Mariners coach Nick Montgomery get the best out of him, but Silvera played a key role in Central Coast’s fairytale run to the A-League title.

English Championship club Middlesbrough, and Socceroos coach Graham Arnold, were quick to take notice of Silvera’s form.

In July, Silvera signed a three-year-deal with Boro and has already started in four of the club’s five league games this season.

And with national coach Arnold keen to inject some fresh faces into his Socceroos squad, the exciting winger is now in America ahead of Australia’s weekend meeting with the Mexicans in Dallas.

“At Mariners, I found my love for football again – I really enjoyed being there,” Silvera said on Thursday.

“I really enjoyed being there and then coming to Middlesbrough, it was sort of that same feeling where it felt like a family, it felt like a really positive environment.

“Ever since I stepped foot in the door, it’s been great. I’ve been able to play some of my best football on the pitch.

“From the performances that I’ve put in and the fast growth that I’ve had, getting great minutes under the great coaching staff there, I’m sure I’ll be able to adapt to (international) football.

“Learning off some of the (Socceroos) boys here who have been to the World Cup and played many games, I’m learning and training every day, and with the coaching here, I’m sure I’ll learn very quick.”

The Socceroos squad also includes two of Silvera’s club teammates – midfielder Riley McGree and goalkeeper Tom Glover.

Former Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City star McGree has been at Boro since January 2022, while ex-City gloveman Glover also moved there in the off-season.

“Knowing Riley and Tom were going to be at the club, it was a massive help,” Silvera said.

“Before signing I spoke to Riley and he spoke extremely highly about the club, the coaching staff and the boys, so it did make the decision a lot easier.

“Riley knows the club inside and out pretty much, so it just helps having that and it makes that transition a lot easier.

“Tom’s (also) new to Boro. so we just bounce off each other and we’re learning together, and Riley helps us both out and the boys are great there.

“They’re all friendly and we just get along great.”

Originally published as Former Mariners star Sammy Silvera’s career continues to rise after a good start to life at Middlesbrough

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