THEY were all smiles and each had a story to tell after six Newcastle Jets were named yesterday in an Australian-based Socceroos squad to attend a training camp in Sydney next week.
Captain Jade North, goalkeeper Ante Covic, twins Joel and Adam Griffiths and unheralded defenders Andrew Durante and Matt Thompson were part of a 22-man squad selected by new coach Pim Verbeek.
They will be joined in Sydney on Monday by a 15-man Olyroos squad that includes fellow Jets Stuart Musialik and Mark Bridge.
The Socceroos take on Qatar in the opening World Cup qualifier in Melbourne on February 6.
Verbeek has not indicated if he will use an entirely A-League team, a combination of Australian and European-based players, or the strongest possible all European-based line-up for Qatar.
For Adam Griffiths, Thompson and Durante it is their first major call-up.
North, Covic and Joel Griffiths have previously worn the green and gold but have been out of favour of late.
The Jets have the largest representation of any A-League club.
Selection continues an amazing few months for Joel Griffiths, who married his childhood sweetheart Bianca Jenson 10 days ago and is favourite to be the A-League player of the year.
"It all happening for me, but I have to keep my feet on the ground and look at the big picture," Griffiths said.
"It will be good to have Adam in camp. I would have to look into it, but I don't imagine too many twins have been in a Socceroos squad before."
If Adam wins selection it would also complete a unique family trifecta as younger brother Ryan has also played for the Socceroos.
It has also been a big year for North, who took over the Jets captaincy this season and became a father for the first time after partner Maree Sigsworth gave birth to son Zane in August.
Covic was the Socceroos' third-string keeper at the World Cup in Germany in 2006.
Since then he has been on the outer.
"I would have been disappointed if I was not in the squad," he said.
"There is still a bit of work to do.
"I intend to put everything into the camp and hopefully impress the new coach."
Durante and Thompson were the bolters of the squad. Durante is considered lucky to be playing. He was out for more than a year after having his leg broken in a crude tackle in May 2005. It was the second time he had broken the same leg.
"It was pleasant surprise when I got the call," he said.
"I went to a couple of Olyroos (under-23) camps but then I broke my leg the first time.
"I guess this is a reward for perseverance."