Barnsley v Gillingham: Dougall embracing his new double challenge

Impact: The performances of Kenny Dougall in a Barnsley shirt have caught the eye of the Australian national team. (Picture: Tony Johnson)
Impact: The performances of Kenny Dougall in a Barnsley shirt have caught the eye of the Australian national team. (Picture: Tony Johnson)
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GIVEN the early evidence of this season so far, Kenny Dougall’s dream of establishing himself in English football is turning into a joyous reality.

The former Sparta Rotterdam midfielder is already winning plenty of friends and influencing people after an impressive start to his footballing adventure at Barnsley.

So much so that his performances have resonated across the other side of the world, in fact.

It has culminated in a maiden call-up to the Australia senior side for the Brisbane-born player, who will link up with the Socceroos for the first time next week at a training camp in Turkey.

Dougall said: “Getting into English football was a dream of mine and this was a good opportunity to come to a team who will hopefully push for promotion and get into the Championship and go from there.

“I used to watch the Premier League as a youngster and it is a tough league. You want to play in it and that is a dream of mine.

Barnsley's Kenny Dougall nicks past Oxford's James Henry's challange in the opening day win. (Picture: Tony Johnson)

Barnsley's Kenny Dougall nicks past Oxford's James Henry's challange in the opening day win. (Picture: Tony Johnson)

“I followed (Manchester) United) a bit. I have a Scottish father and he obviously liked Sir Alex (Ferguson) and followed them a little bit.”

On his early impact at Oakwell, Dougall – hoping to play his part in Barnsley extending their strong start to the season today – added: “It has been a good start. Personally, I have still got some improving to do and so does the team.

“But so far, we have started well and it is looking positive.”

While afforded the fillip of a first call-up to the Aussie squad, Dougall must wait for his first competitive cap, which he admits is slightly disappointing.

The international break gives other players a chance to play as well. We have a good squad and a lot of good players and I think with whoever comes in, we will be fine.

Kenny Dougall

His unavailability for next weekend’s game with Walsall will also be a miss for the Reds, but he is confident the club has players to step into the breach.

He said: “The international break gives other players a chance to play as well. We have a good squad and a lot of good players and I think with whoever comes in, we will be fine.

“I do not think that it will disrupt us too much.”

On having to wait for his first cap, Dougall added: “It is disappointing there is no game as you want to get capped by your nation. But training will be good.

“It will be enjoyable, but hard work, but I am really looking forward to.

“With it being a training camp, maybe the manager wants to look at a few new faces and that is his job as a new coach.

“It will be exciting, but also challenging.”