At the age of 18, the broken leg I sustained played a huge role in affecting my aspirations of being a professional footballer. However as it turned out, that disappointment only encouraged me to pursue another beginning - coaching. At the age of 24, with only my degree in Sports Science in hand and a dream of working in the English Premier League, I bought a one-way ticket to London. My ambition was to work at the highest level in world football; to learn from and surround myself with the best in the game.
Arriving in London changed my life in an extraordinary way. You see, I was ambitious, driven, young and with those ingredients - fearless. Well before the modern way of networking, I approached a handful of professional football clubs - armed with my football playing experience and a degree in Sports Science. Within nine years of my experience in the UK, I immersed myself in the world’s best practices in coaching and sports medicine. I also continued my thirst for education, obtaining my UEFA A Licence and a degree in Sports Psychology.
This theoretic learning was backed by my practical learning from some of the most experienced managers and players in the game; including Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes, Martin Jol, Dimitar Berbatov and Damian Duff.
I felt at home in this environment - it was elite, world class and intense - the characteristics that form the high standards I adhere to, to this day; all of which have served me well in my coaching career to date.
My experiences as Assistant Coach of Fulham and Assistant Coach of the Socceroos prepared me for my next role; the Head Coach of Newcastle Jets - landing me the title of the youngest Head Coach in A-League History.