Western United teen reflects on FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil


For Luke Duzel, it’s been a whirlwind couple of months.

In September, the 17-year-old midfielder signed for the new Hyundai A-League outfit Western United on a scholarship deal.

For a proud Western Melbourne product, it was a dream come true to play for a club representing his part of the city and state.

Then, in October, the former Melbourne City player was in Brazil with the Joeys as they started their campaign for glory at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Luke Duzel


Wearing the number 16 shirt, Duzel made the most of the game time he got in the Green and Gold as they faced Ecuador, Hungary, and Nigeria in Group B. 

And the talented youngster aims to make a strong impression in the Green and Black after returning last Saturday to Melbourne.

“I’ve had to adapt, whether Brazil or Melbourne I’ve had to adapt quickly,” he told www.wufc.com.au

“Brazil was a great experience because every corner you look there was a football pitch. It was amazing.

“And to see up close the different levels of players from each country and see how they play and their football culture.

“Every team plays differently. I’ve learned more because of this experience.”

The Joeys caught the imagination of the Aussie fans with some eye-catching displays that saw them progress through the group stage.


With Noah Botic on fire, they produced a display of quality to overcome the Nigerians 2-1 in the group stage.

The result saw Trevor Morgan’s side finish third in Group B on four points, enough to earn them a spot in the Round of 16. 

Earlier in the group stage action, the young Aussies produced a second-half fightback to draw 2-2 with Hungary. They, however, lost 2-1 to Ecuador in the group opener. 

In the Round of 16, sadly, a 10-player Joeys went down to France 4-0.

Coincidentally, 20 years ago, Duzel’s Western United teammate Scott McDonald was a key part of the Joeys at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Zealand, where they made the final and faced Brazil. 

In fact, while Duzel was in Brazil, McDonald was starring for United against the likes of Melbourne Victory and Wanderers. 

Duzel, the son of former NSL player Ivan Duzel, said he tried to watch Western United’s game online from Brazil.

But there was a slight problem.

“The games were on at like 3-4 am! But it’s amazing to be back.

“Every day I’m feeling stronger since I got back last Saturday.”


Western United’s next home game is at GMHBA Stadium against Newcastle Jets on Saturday, 16 November at 7.30 pm.

CLICK HERE to buy tickets.

CLICK HERE to become a Western United member.