Young Roar and Young Socceroos striker Brandon Borrello is putting the disappointment of missing out on the FIFA U20 World Cup with Australia behind him and setting his sights on a big season with Brisbane Roar.
The current Foxtel National Youth League Player of the Year was a part of Paul Okon’s Young Socceroos squad that finished third in Group B of the recent AFC U19 Championships, alongside fellow Roar youngster Shannon Brady.
By missing out on a spot in the final eight of the tournament, Australia failed to qualify for next year’s FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand.
While bitterly disappointed not to progress further with the national team, Borrello said he was turning his focus to his club, buoyed by words of encouragement from Head Coach Mike Mulvey.
“Mike said to me before we left for the Young Socceroos, go away and concentrate on the Young Socceroos and then when you come back – your heart and soul is here with the club,” Borrello said.
“I went away, we weren’t as successful as we would have liked so I’ve come back here trying to prove a point.
“I thought to myself, I’ve got two options. I could moan about not going to a World Cup or I could come back here and give my heart and soul to this club.”
The 19-year-old is one of the full time youth players in Mulvey’s squad and provided a much-needed spark last weekend when he came on as a 63rd minute substitute against Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium.
Borrello said he was “over the moon” to be involved against the Sky Blues and was hopeful of more senior appearances for the club as the season progresses.
“Thanks to Mike, he’s given me another sniff of action and as long as I can continue my form, it should be a good season for me,” he said.
“It’s definitely an accelerated learning environment – I get to train with Thomas [Broich], Dimi [Petratos], Mensur [Kurtishi], Matty Smith – and all the key players of the club.
“It’s great that they take the young players like myself under their wings and show us how to go about things, not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well.”
Having missed the majority of the Foxtel National Youth League 2012/13 season with osteitis pubis, Borrello said his aim was to stay injury free and to make as much of an impact as possible when given the chance by Mulvey in the current 2014/15 campaign.
“Last season was my first full youth season, starting games and playing in the A-League so to get the achievements I did, I never thought I could do that so it’s given me some confidence going into this season as well,” he said.
“I still have to prove myself but the pressure isn’t there, I know the players and coaches have trust in me and I can be myself on the pitch, which helps a lot.”
Brisbane Roar’s Hyundai A-League side is not in action this weekend due to Western Sydney Wanderers’ participation in the AFC Champions League Final. Young Roar travel to Victoria to play Melbourne Victory Youth tomorrow at Lakeside Stadium. Kick off at 1.30pm local time.