Even when Jake Settree’s name was read out as part of a squad to take part in an elite tour of Germany, he had a hard time comprehending it.
The Dubbo teenager, who plays for the Newtown Football Club locally, flew out of Australia late last week with the Fraser Coast Joeys Mini World Cup squad.
It’s the trip of a lifetime, learning from some of the best minds in a country which has a level of football as good, if not better, than anywhere else in the world.
But, it’s something Settree never expected.
The rapidly quick midfielder was part of the Dubbo side which played at the Joeys Mini World Cup in July last year.
Teams from all over the state took on those from Queensland, New Zealand and Germany, with points being awarded on a three, two, one basis after every game.
The top point-scorers at the end of the tournament were awarded a place in the World Cup squad for the tour of Germany.
“I didn’t expect anything,” Settree said.
“I thought they’d say one of my mates’ names first and then they even said ‘from Dubbo’ and I still thought it would be someone else.
“It never occurred to me that it could be me.”
While stunned at the announcement, it was definitely a worthy selection.
One of the stars of the Newtown Devils under 17s side, Settree has developed further this season since debuting with the the club’s senior first grade outfit.
But he’s all too aware this too of Germany will be unlike anything he's ever been a part of before.
“I’m looking forward to playing some really good soccer against teams from one of the leading countries in the world,” he said, Germany being the reigning World Cup champions.
“We’ll play in several tournaments, a lot of one-day tournaments, and travel all over the country.
“I’m really excited but also nervous because I don’t know anyone and I’m going over there by myself”
The side worked alongside former professional manager Jens Kiefer shortly after arriving in Germany on the weekend with a whole host of matches to be played before returning home on July 1.
As well as playing, there will be a lot of learning about what it takes to be a professional and reach the top of the game, while the squad will visit a number of historic sights and also spend time watching the looming FIFA World Cup together.
“It will be good to see the preparation that goes in,” Settree said of what he wants to learn from the tour.
“A mate who went last year said preparation was massive so just learning that and how to play in a country like Germany, one of the best in the world.”
Settree, who has spent time playing in central defence as well as the centre of midfield, has been kept busy lately as he was playing at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Championship before flying out to Germany.
Settree will also bring back all he’s learnt to his Newtown club, which sits fourth in first grade having not been in in the competition for roughly two decades.