Jacob Borg became the latest Illawarra football international, when the South Coast Wolves junior made his senior international debut for Malta last week in a friendly match against Azerbaijan.
The 22-year-old was capped by Australia at youth level and had a short stint in the youth team of former A-League side Gold Coast United, before playing for Dapto Dandaloo Fury in the Illawarra Premier League last season.
Confronted with a lack of higher opportunities in Australia, Jacob decided to try his luck in Europe last year and, after successful trials, found a home at Maltese Premier League side Balzan.
With Maltese heritage, and after some strong performances for Balzan, he earned selection in the national team earlier this year for World Cup qualifying matches against Italy, Belgium and Denmark.
Borg didn't see any match time and remained on the bench in these big games, including the qualifier against Italy where Mario Balotelli scored a double to consign Malta to a 2-0 defeat.
With this experience of watching on from the sidelines and having a taste of international football, the right-back finally made his debut as a half-time substitute last week, which is sure to be a highlight of his short career so far.
Continuing his progress abroad, Jacob recently made a move from Balzan to fellow Maltese Premier League club Sliema Wanderers for the upcoming European season.
This is a massive achievement for a footballer who last year was playing in the Illawarra Premier League and hopefully the start of a long international career with Malta.