Australian Under 17 national team striker Mark Moric wants to emulate his father’s club and Australian national team career and go further than even the greatest Socceroos.
Mark Moric’s father Ante had a distinguished career with Sydney United from 1992-97 as a classy left midfielder in the NSL.
He was part of Sydney United’s team that played under Branko Culina with the team known for its attractive brand of football.
And while Ante played for Australia at the 2000 Olympics, Mark is hoping to surpass some legends of the local game.
“My ambition for the Socceroos is to follow in the footsteps of former Socceroo Mark Viduka,” he said. “And hopefully match or if not beat Tim Cahill's goal scoring record.”
He followed in his fathers footsteps by advancing through the junior ranks at Sydney United before gaining selection in the 17-man FFA Centre of Excellence sqaud.
“To have the privilege of calling my dad a Socceroo is something many kids don't get to have,” he said
“My dad has been the main motivator for me ever since I started playing. He has been my role model growing up, watching tapes of him play and asking questions constantly about his career. I would not be where I am today without his knowledge of the game.”
Moric was part of Tony Vidmar’s squad that won the AFF Championship final in a 5-3 penalty shootout over Vietnam’s Under-16 team in July, but it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Australians.
The Joeys suffered a 3-0 loss to Vietnam in their first game and at 3-1 down in the final, they looked shot, until Moric scored to spark an Australian fightback.
“It was a great moment for the boys especially after the start we got off to,” he said. “When it was 3-1 to Vietnam, all I wanted was to make an impact and thankfully I managed to score straight away. From there we had the momentum, and got it back to 3-3.”
Moric added, “Coming into the tournament a lot of the boys didn't have international experience and in Asia teams sit off making it hard to play. Once these boys had some experience we were able to improve our performances and get the results we wanted.”
The Joeys will be competing in the AFC U-16 Championships in September in the hope of qualifying for the 2017 Under-17 World Cup in India.
And while Moric is confident Australia can succeed. he said the tournament would be a massive challenge.
“It will be very tough,” he said. “Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and Japan will all be very tough games but I think if we play to what we are capable of I believe we have a good chance of qualifying. We don't fear any team regardless of who it is, because we know if play to our style and philosophy we will give ourselves every chance.”