From sitting on the bench at Old Trafford as a teenager to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, football has taken Jordan Holmes to some unforeseen places in his eight years as a professional.
As such, the Olyroo knew his Australian domestic club debut could arrive just about anywhere, anytime – although not many would have predicted Launceston as the location.
The goalkeeper got the nod for his first official Brisbane Roar outing against Perth Glory just over a week ago after steadily building his selection case throughout the Isuzu UTE A-League campaign, his first in his home country following almost a decade in England.
“It was good to finally play my first competitive match in Australia,” Holmes said.
“I didn’t think I would be doing it at the age of 24! I thought I would be a bit younger, but it is what it is.
“It didn’t bother me whether it was going to be Brisbane or Melbourne or Sydney or Tasmania. The only thing that did bother me a bit was the fact my mum and dad and some other family and friends couldn’t be there.
“Unfortunately the result didn’t go as planned, but it was great to finally get out there and play for this club.”
The other “bittersweet” element for the former Bournemouth man was the fact his debut meant team-mate Macklin Freke had to miss out.
The pair have forged close ties and a relationship built on mutual encouragement over the past six months despite being in competition for a starting spot.
“We said to each other at the start: whoever deserves to be playing, whoever is training better or playing better, we support 100%,” Holmes said.
“As much as I wanted to play, Macklin got the nod and I had to support that. And I did. He’s been the same with me, he’s been great.
“We’ll continue in training to push one another, bounce ideas off one another, and have honest chats about goals we might have done better on or goals we couldn’t have done better on.
“We have a good enough relationship to be open and honest with each other which is quite nice to have.”
If he holds his spot against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford this Saturday, Holmes may have to contend with wet conditions as heavy rain continues to impact Australia’s east coast.
Fortunately, having spent his entire professional career to date in the UK, the shot-stopper will feel right at home.
“The conditions for me – raining, cold – I prefer that,” he said.
“It feels like football weather for me. I’m sure most of the boys would prefer it a bit warmer, a bit drier, but for me nothing beats the slickness of the pitch, the ball travelling a bit, and that competitiveness.
“We’ll be looking to bounce back and get the result we need to kick on for the rest of the season.”