My best memories of the NSL were going to watch the Brisbane strikers with my dad, we didn't miss a game. Being at the fence chasing the players to get my playing cards signed and being a ballboy for the strikers. The '97 grand final was also a day I won't forget. After watching the last season of the NSL there would be a brief pause in Australian football as the A-league was developed with 8 clubs. The first game again I was there, that day I'll also never forget. A 2-0 win, we celebrated each goal like we were on the field. I was signed for season 2 after spending that first year at the AIS. Again season opener, everything same as the season before, this time i'm in the squad. Miron calls me over to come on, I sprint from behind the goal. I score my first professional goal and we win 3-1 against Perth.
There are many people in this country who love the game, it has the highest participation amongst kids across all sports also. So I believe the love of the game is there, just the connection to the clubs isn't, this will take time. It might be the people who run the game, don't have that understanding and are trying to take the soul out of football. We are amazed at the scenes across Europe but condemn them here. That's what makes football special and we can't lose that.
As a kid I always the had the ball at my feet and was outside kicking the ball and breaking the fence palings and hoping my parents didn't hear. When I watched my dad play I would be on the back fields playing against the kids from the other club for hours. I was always with a ball whether inside or outside. I would cry when games were cancelled because of bad weather.
After my playing career; something I don't want to think about because I want to play forever. I know how much I will miss it when that day arrives because football is all I know and all I ever dreamt of. I want to remain within the game and am already starting to think as a coach. I will start my coaching badges this year.