From marking Kylian Mbappe to scoring his debut goal at the weekend, there has been no shortage of highs for Harry Van Der Saag.
Alongside fellow Sydney FC youth product Marco Tilio,18, the pair scored their debut A-League goals two minutes a part as the Sky Blues recorded a three-nil against the Central Coast Mariners.
Van Der Saag’s 91st minute winner perhaps the pick of the bunch, with the 20-year-old bypassing four defenders into the penalty area before emphatically firing his attempt into the top corner – notching up his maiden professional goal.
“It was an unforgettable night. I couldn’t really explain how happy I was it was pretty incredible,” he told FNR.
“I saw Marco [Tilio] made a great run forward and thought to go and give him some help. I pretty much camped up behind him and he gave me the ball and I saw some space and just attacked it and then saw there was a bit of an opportunity to shoot and I said, ‘why not’.”
“Me and Marco have been playing with each other since the under 16’s so it was a pretty surreal but special moment for me and Marco to share our first professional goals together at the same time in the same game. It was pretty special.
“The Mariners were giving us a run for our money so Steve said, ‘go on and bring some energy to the team’ and I think we did that quite well.”
Growing up a Sydney FC supporter, being selected for the club’s youth academy was a “dream come true” for Van der Saag, who has made seven league appearances this season in addition to the one Champions League appearance off the bench.
The 20-year-old has his eyes on Friday night Sydney’s derby, a fixture he has never played in. A packed Jubilee Oval is expected for the second derby of the season with both sides coming off three goal wins.
While the occasion will be a significant one for Van Der Saag – should he get the call up – it will be difficult to compare to his first start for Sydney FC in the side’s pre-season friendly against French giants Paris Saint-Germain.
“I had to mark Kylian Mbappe probably one of the best players in the world at the moment,” he said.
“I don’t think I’ll experience a player like that for a while if ever again. It was unbelievable, it felt like a dream to be honest. It was pretty nuts seeing him at the World Cup and then marking him. It was crazy.
“You try keep it as normal as possible the more you think about it the more overwhelming it is, so I tried not to think about it and tried my best to do my bit for the team.”
Featured Image – Sydney FC