Calem Nieuwenhof carrying immense form to first overseas tournament

Off the back of a breakout campaign on Australian soil, Calem Nieuwenhof is itching to kick off his first competitive tournament with the Olyroos. 

After helping the Western Sydney Wanderers to their first taste of finals football in six years, the young midfielder is ready to carry his form onto the international stage, at the Maurice Revello Tournament. 

“It’s so special, and I’m so lucky to be here,” Nieuwenhof shared, ahead of Australia’s first match against Qatar on Tuesday night. 

“It’s my first real away trip to an actual tournament with Australia, so I can’t wait to play a few competitive games and play with all the other boys.” 

Nieuwenhof’s long-awaited call-up may well have come even sooner, if it were not for the role that injuries have played in halting his momentum since he made his senior debut for Sydney FC at 19 years of age. 

“I’ve had a disrupted last few years, I had two major injuries that set me out for the better part of the last two seasons.

“So to finally come back now and be fit and playing it makes me more grateful and gives me the extra motivation now to really put my best foot forward.

“I’m really happy to be here and to be able to be in being in good condition and able to play these games.” 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 06: Paulo Retre of Sydney FC and Calem Nieuwenhof of the Wanderers compete for the ball during the A-League Men’s Elimination Final match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC at CommBank Stadium on May 06, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

It was a transfer between rivals across to Sydney’s West that laid the platform for Nieuwenhof’s recent rise – a move that he holds absolutely no regrets about. 

“Looking back, I’m really happy with the decision I made,” Nieuwenhof reflects. 

“It was a pretty easy decision for me at the time because I was coming off the back of injuries and the Wanderers put trust in me and gave me an opportunity.

“I’ve been playing consistent minutes and I feel like I’ve got myself in a good position now with the games I’ve had and also moving forward.” 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 18: Calem Nieuwenhof of the Wanderers celebrates scoring a goal during the round 21 A-League Men’s match between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium, on March 18, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

Despite his club move, Nieuwenhof has enjoyed reuniting with a handful of his former academy teammates with the Olyroos. 

All considered, the Wanderers youngster is ready to step up against some of the world’s best rising talent. 

“It’s a crazy tournament to be a part of, I’ve heard of all the crazy players that have come through this tournament and it’s such a great opportunity for us as a squad,” he said. 

“It means so much for all of us to be able to represent Australia at such a prestigious tournament and I’m sure we’re gonna really fire up for all the games and put our best foot forward.” 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 31: Calem Nieuwenhof of the Wanderers competes for the ball with Ethan Alagich of Adelaide United during the round 22 A-League Men’s match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United at CommBank Stadium, on March 31, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

How to watch

All group stage matches involving Australia will be LIVE on ESPN, Channel 509 on Foxtel, while all other group stage matches (including Australia’s) plus the semi-finals and final will be streamed LIVE via the WatchESPN App.

Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 – Ranking Matches – Schedule

2.00pm (local), Thursday, 14 June: 11th vs 12th and 7th vs 8th at Arles & Miramas

6.00pm (local), Thursday, 14 June: 9th vs 10th and 5th vs 6th at Arles & Miramas

Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 – Semi-Finals – Schedule

2.30pm (local) Friday, 15 June: Semi-Final #1 at Salon

6.00pm (local) Friday, 15 June: Semi-Final #2 at Salon

Maurice Revello Tournament 2023 – Finals – Schedule

2.30pm (local) Sunday, 18 June: 3rd vs 4th at Salon

6.00pm (local) Sunday, 18 June: Final at Salon

A championship system will be in operation for this tournament, where each team is playing for three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a defeat. In the event of a tie at the end of a match, a penalty shoot-out will be held. The team that wins the penalty shoot-out will receive an additional point in the ranking.