Amidst preparations for Brisbane Roar’s first training game of the 2011 pre-season campaign, James Meyer has confessed he still has to pinch himself when he thinks back on the last twelve months of his life.
Less than a year ago, Meyer was still plying his trade for Brisbane Premier League side Eastern Suburbs before Roar coach Ange Postecoglou spotted potential in the versatile player, acting swiftly to sign him to a one-year Hyundai A-League contract.
The day he swapped Heath Park for Suncorp Stadium and BPL derbies for Hyundai A-League match-ups seems a million years ago to the newly-turned 25-year-old who has since made his national league debut, scoring four goals in as many games before a toe ligament injury in February ended his season prematurely.
With this Friday night-s match against Redlands United the first stop on Brisbane-s busy pre-season schedule, Meyer-s has been keen to remind his team mates the Hyundai A-League Champions will be tested by the Brisbane Premier League outfit.
“I remember when I played against the Roar when I was still in the local league,” he said.
“We were always pumped up and it was a big day for us, getting the chance to play against some professionals.
“They-ll be looking forward to it I-m sure, probably even more than we are.”
Post-season, his twelve months of hard work reaped deserved rewards with Meyer earning himself an extra two years with the Brisbane club.
As living proof of the distinct pathway between Brisbane football and the national competition, Meyer urged the local players to adopt a similar ‘nothing to lose- strategy he used to employ when they line up against Ange Postecoglou-s all-conquering side on Friday night.
“They should just get out there on the field, enjoy it and give it their all,” he said.
“You never know what might happen and with the gaffer there, it-s a good opportunity for them to impress.”
Meyer also planned to use the training match to show the Brisbane Roar coaching staff the extent of his injury recovery, insisting he was ready for a 90 minute appearance more than three months after he suffered the original damage to his foot.
“I-m feeling quite good, training has been nice and hard so I feel like we-re preparing ourselves really well even though it-s quite a long way off until the start of the season,” he said.
“It-s been a while since I-ve played a game so I-m really looking forward to getting back into the playing side of things.
“We-ve got a few boys that are away with Olyroos but the boys that are here are pumped and confident and ready to get back into the swing of things.”
Brisbane Roar-s first training game of the 2011 against Redlands United kicks off at 7pm at Cleveland Showgrounds on Friday 3 June.
Players will be available for autographs and photographs from 5-6pm alongside club mascot Roary and the Hyundai A-League Premiers Plate and Championship trophy.