Thurgate scored his debut goal for Australia with the Young Socceroos against Vietnam in last month's AFC U19s Championships.

"There was a bit of sickness throughout the group but luckily I was I was able to start four games out of four and took my chance to put in a good performance," he said.

"My parents came over just for that game as well so it was special to have them in the crowd for my first international goal. It was good."

A 3-1 quarter final defeat to eventual champions Saudi Arabia cost the Young Socceroos a spot at the U20s World Cup and Thurgate admitted he was sad to miss out.

"That would have been ideal you know – an U20 World Cup in Europe," he said. "It would have been perfect – plenty of scouts there and a perfect opportunity to put my name forward.

"But as it is, we missed out but I took away a lot from that. It was valuable experience."

Jets coach Ernie Merrick has kept the 18 year old firmly grounded now he's back with his club on the Hunter though.

And although he no longer has to collect the balls or the water bottles after training, he can't escape the goal-lifting roster.

"I still have to set up the goals every morning," he joked today after training. "I got out of collecting the balls and the water bottles though!"

Now he's looking to play a bigger role for the club in the A-League as the Jets struggle to find the back of the net since goal sensation Andrew Nabbout left last season.

He's taking the chance to be mentored by experienced hands like Dimi Petratos and Ronnie Vargas as he tries to put himself in contention for a starting spot.

"I'm really just trying to get as many tips as I can and improve my game.," Thurgate added. "Hopefully I can keep improving my game and if I get an opportunity to take it.

"I feel like I can play anywhere. Anywhere I can do a job for the team, I'm happy to do it."