Cirjak finds his feet


Brisbane Roar Youth newcomer Tommy Cirjak is not one to shy away from a challenge.

Brisbane Roar Youth newcomer Tommy Cirjak is not one to shy away from a challenge.

As part of the road that eventually led him to Brisbane Roar-s National Youth League squad, Cirjak enjoyed a whirlwind six-month stint in England training alongside some of the English Premier League-s biggest names with Portsmouth FC as a 16-year-old.

Unforeseeable circumstances meant he was unable to see out his three year contract with the club and was forced to return to Australia, eventually signing for Sydney FC in last year-s NYL competition.

Ahead of tomorrow afternoon-s round four clash against the Australian Institute of Sport, the 18-year-old reflected on the life-changing events that have already occurred in his life so far.

“It was a great experience because I was training with the first team quite a fair bit too,” Cirjak said.

“I was getting used to it there but I wasn-t playing many games because I couldn-t get a clearance but a great experience nonetheless.

“I was training with the likes of Niko Kranjcar, Peter Crouch and Lassana Diarra and I learnt a lot there.”

After joining Sydney FC, Cirjak enjoyed an impressive start to last season before an injury cut his game time short and he-s since made the switch to the Queensland capital, where he says he can-t be happier on and off the pitch.

“I actually scored my first goal in the National Youth League against Brisbane last year and Kofi scored two, it-s quite funny looking back and seeing where we are now,” he said, with a smile.

“I-m loving it in here in Brisbane, it-s probably one of the best places I-ve ever been.

“It-s a great system and I-m learning a lot, I feel it-s the best club to be at and I-m happy.”

Living with teammates Jason Geria and Jack Hingert, Cirjak lives, sleeps and breathes football and definitely feels his overall football style has improved under the direction of Ange Postecoglou and Brisbane Roar Youth Head Coach John Sime.

He was over the moon to be included amongst the scorers in last weekend-s 5-1 thumping of Melbourne Victory.

“Every one is just willing to work hard and keen for our next game because we just want to continue our good form,” he said.

“It was good to finally get on the scoresheet – I need to score more goals as well because I see myself as an attacking midfield player.

“I can play anywhere in the midfield but I was used there in the second half.

“I don-t mind where I play, I just want to score more goals and play more games.

“I think it-s a lot tougher in the youth league this year but our players are working hard to nail this system and we deserved every goal on the weekend.”

The result propelled Brisbane into joint-second place on the National Youth League ladder and Cirjak will be hoping to carry on his goal-scoring form tomorrow in front of his family, who are in town visiting from Sydney.

Brisbane Roar face Australian Institute of Sport on Saturday, 12 November at Cleveland Shwogrounds, Waterloo Street, Cleveland. Kick-off is at 3.30pm. Tickets are available at the gate – $5 adults, $2 for children under 15 and concession, Brisbane Roar members free.