Wearing the colours of your country for the first time is a memorable moment in any footballer’s career.
But if you want to make it an occasion that will go down in history, talk to New Zealand’s newest international Myer Bevan.
The 19-year-old netted not once, not twice, but three times in his debut against Cook Islands helping New Zealand made an ideal start to their OFC U-20 Championship campaign.
“I’m happy,” the former Western Springs and Auckland City FC striker said at the final whistle.
“They were all team goals and I just finished them off.”
Coach Darren Bazeley was impressed with Bevan’s ability to adapt to the squad and conditions on the ground.
“I’m pleased for Myer getting a hat-trick on his international debut,” Bazeley said.
“He’s a goal scorer as we saw against Cook Islands.
“He’s got a good touch, he’s a big lad and he competes, runs the channel well and has a good game understanding.”
With his pedigree it comes as a surprise that Bevan has only recently arrived on the international scene.
“I’d never pulled the jersey on for New Zealand before. It’s always been my dream and my family – it’s just such a big things for us,” he shared.
However he is a player who has put in the hard yards to get where he is and is unafraid to continue grafting to achieve his goals.
“I would have been happy just to be out there and not score, I’m just lucky I scored three goals. I think overall the team played well and I’m just happy to get the result we wanted.”
Bevan was admitted to the Nike Academy in England this year and said he feels like he’s on the right track.
“I think I’ve been doing quite well,” he said.
“I scored eight goals in seven games and I’m pushing for a pro contract.
“Anything happens in football so I’m just waiting for the next opportunity really.”
But right now he’s happy being in the mix for New Zealand and Bazeley believes his experience in England has already had an impact.
“The thing now is that he’s in a really good environment, a professional environment in England and we’ve noticed some differences in the three months that he’s been over there.
“He’s a good player with hopefully a good future,” he said.
“So that’s good for New Zealand that we’ve got players that can do that work and hopefully he will go on and have a really good tournament.”
Bevan said he’s fortunate to have some experienced teammates who he has been able to lean on for support as he navigates the national team environment.
“It’s been good joining the team. I’m good mates with a few of them already. Moses (Dyer) is a good mate and teaches me a lot.
But him, Clay (Lewis), Logan (Rogerson) are all great guys to be learning off,” he says of the side’s senior internationals.
“Obviously playing at that level you know how fast you have to be and how strong so it’s good to come into this environment and have people like that to learn from.”
New Zealand will resume their campaign to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 on Tuesday 6 September with an important encounter against Tahiti.