A life in football is a lot of things but boring
Having moved across to the other side of the world to try my luck in British football things took an unexpected turn and I entered the hurly burly world of the Scottish game. Life in the sport is rarely straight forward…
It seems a long time ago now that I left Townsville with the both my own and the North Queensland Fury’s future up in the air.
Like the club, I’d had an up and down season, struggling to get into the squad initially. I was fortunate to play the majority of games in the latter part of the season where I played some of my best football.
On leaving Townsville to head back home to Newcastle at season’s end, everything was thrown in chaos.
It became clear the owner of the Jets was fast running out of money and Football Federation Australia was far from guaranteeing the club’s survival.
When the FFA did decide to save the club the feeling I got was that it was unlikely I would be offered a new contract.
It was then that I started to think of trying my luck in the UK and went down the road of getting a visa sorted.
This proved a bit of nightmare and seemed to take for forever, I missed pre-season and arrived almost a month into the season proper.
I trialled with Crewe initially but on the first day it seemed apparent that I faced an uphill battle as they already had six centre halves signed.
After Crewe I travelled about trialling and training with a number of League Two and Conference teams.
Whilst the tension and stress of being on trial in England was difficult at times I was lucky enough to play three Premier League teams in practice matches.
At Crewe I played against a full strength Stoke City, with Rory Delap launching his trademark throw-ins into the box and whilst at Cheltenham I was lucky enough to play against Birmingham and West Brom.
These were definite highlights and something I had dreamed about my whole life.
The low point came at Newport County where my two sessions there consisted of circle ball and diving headers practice before I politely informed them I would not be back.
Eventually I headed to Scotland where former Fury assistant Stuart Petrie had arranged a trial with First Division club Ross County.
I spent around a month there and it was by far the most enjoyable football experience of my time in the UK.
Just as things were progressing the manager was sacked and I was back to square one.
Being the middle of January, my chances of finding anything were pretty much nil, and the thought of what the hell I am going to do was becoming increasingly frequent.
I started to toy with the idea of returning to journalism after having worked as journalist before I signed with Sydney FC and I also have a degree in the field.
It kept my mind off playing for a while but eventually the desire to get back playing was too strong and when Petrie offered me the chance to play with Arbroath, where he is the assistant, in the Scottish Second Division, I jumped at it.
I have been playing there now for almost six months, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
It has taken a while to adjust, I am not going to lie, it’s not at the level of the A-League and is a very different style.
Teams are much more direct but thankfully at Arbroath we play a short passing game and try to keep possession rather than looking to hit long balls at every chance.
I hope to carry on playing wherever that may be for as long as possible but I hope at the same time to build a career as a football writer.
Thankfully The Roar has given me the chance to develop as a writer in a weekly column where I will discuss both Australian and world Football matters.
I hope you enjoy it.
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