Few in the current Socceroos squad can boast quite the story Ikonomidis can to make it to this point, and it's a shame that more Australians don't know it.

He left Australia and moved halfway around the world, without his parents, at only 17-years-old.

He left Southern Sydney for a country where he didn't speak the language, nor have a support network, to play in one of the world's finest youth academies. But Italian football is an entirely different beast.

He was locked in training grounds for up to a week after losing games, even denied the opportunity to see his parents. Ikonomidis was living the dream of every young footballer, but as he said afterwards, he "can't describe how hard it was."

That is his past. But what it created is increasingly looking like the Socceroos' future.

"I've reached an age where I'm comfortable in front of goal," he said after scoring his debut Socceroos goal - a sumptious strike off the far post - in Australia's 5-0 thrashing of Oman.

"It's a confidence thing, but also a maturity thing. I'm going to show people what I can do."

Now, Australia's brightest 23-year-old is back on Australia's sunny shores plying his trade in the A-League to devastating effect, Italy far behind him, the United Arab Emirates on the horizon.

And he's "very happy" about it indeed.

So when he's asked whether he ever thought of giving up after he was left out of the national side for over a year at 21-years-old, and he says that would have been "silly", you get the sense he's being polite.

"I'm very happy, I worked very hard over the past few months and it feels great to be back with the team," he said.

"No way did I give up, giving up at 21 would be silly. I've worked hard and had a boss that showed faith in me and I'm going to pay him back by giving everything.

"It doesn't matter that we don't have a classic number nine, we've got attackers all the way across the front four that can interchange and that versatility will save us a lot."