Daniel Beale
Inframe : Daniel Beale / Photo Credits : Getty Images

Brisbane-born midfielder Beale only debuted for the Kookaburras in March 2013 against India but has emerged as a key player for the side in recent years, reaching the 150-mark in quick time.

He was part of Australia’s 2016 Rio Olympics team, 2014, 2016 and 2018 Champions Trophy teams and the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games teams.

But his influence has grown, with Beale named Player of the Tournament in March’s Azlan Shah Cup and at 25-years-old he appears set for a lengthy career in green and gold.

“Hopefully I’m able to play plenty more games for the Kookaburras,” Beale said.

“There is not better feeling than walking out in the green and gold with all your mates by your side and competing against the best in the world.

“I have fortunately been able to remain injury free for most of my career so far and depending on performance, I hope to be around for a little while longer.”

Beale said he was thrilled to bring up the 150-cap milestone having emerged after captaining Australia at the 2013 Junior World Cup.

“I always dreamed of being able to play for the Kookaburras so I feel very honoured and humbled to be able to be here about to play 150 games in the green and gold,” Beale said.

“Every game for the Kookaburras is special but to be able to get my 150th in a World Cup semi-final is pretty cool.

“It won’t matter too much once the game starts and will be more focused on trying to play our best and come away with a win.”

Reflecting on his career highlights to date, Beale added: “I don’t think anyone forgets their first match for the Kookaburras, mine came early 2013 against India at the Azlan Shah.

“I remember being very nervous and anxious but a lot of the experienced players give me plenty of advice and guidance and supported me through my first international match.

“Another highlight would have to be the opportunity to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics. The whole Olympic experience was surreal and something I will never forget.”

Beale said ahead of the semi-final that the mood remained strong within the Kookaburras group, who weren’t focused about winning a World Cup ‘three-peat’.

“We had some tough pool matches but were able to secure a quarter final spot and had another good match against a good French team,” he said.

“The team is feeling good but have plenty of learning and improvement before our semi-final on Saturday night. We are taking it one game at a time and have all our focus on that semi-final.”

Speaking about Australia’s semi-final opponent, Beale was full of respect having faced the Dutch in a tied four-match series in Perth and Narrogin earlier this year and during the Champions Trophy, when the Kookaburras won 3-1.

“The Netherlands team is always a tough opponent and we expect no different from them in the semi-final,” he said.

“They have been a top team in the world for many years and have quality across the field. They have very skilful and dangerous players in attack and are solid in defence. We expect a tough match against them.”