Brisbane Roar midfielder Mitch Nichols will make his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance in this Sunday’s round one clash against Perth Glory.
Brisbane Roar midfielder Mitch Nichols will make his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance in this Sunday-s round one clash against Perth Glory.
Nichols, who has been with the club since signing his original two-year contract less than a fortnight after his 18th birthday in May 2007, is the club-s second-longest serving player after foundation player Massimo Murdocca.
According to Head Coach Rado Vidosic, Gold Coast-born Nichols has continually improved throughout his five years at the club, demonstrated by his milestone this weekend and the 22 goals he-s scored in the process.
“With us, he-s been fantastic and his development since Frank brought him in, then Ange, and now with me, has been strong every year,” Vidosic said.
“He-s still got a long way to go but he-s a very important part of our play.
“His first season with us he wasn-t in the starting eleven but ever since then, he has been.
“That just tells you how hard he works for us and how much he has improved and how much he has developed every year he-s been with us.
“I had no doubt he-d score goals last year and I-ve got no doubts he-ll score goals this year.”
Club captain Matt Smith – who kicked off his Australian career at the same club where Nichols was scouted for the Roar, Palm Beach – was full of praise for his younger teammate.
“He-s had a fantastic time here at Brisbane and I-m chuffed that he can join the 100 club,” Smith said.
“It-s a very prestigious thing and to be consistent for that length of time is great for him – and he-s still only young.
“Mitchy-s got that ability to create things, he-s got that ability to find space and he-s always in the right position when you need him at the right time.
“That, coupled with the fact he can find the pass or pop the odd goal here or there, really helps the side.
“I-m hoping he can do it again this weekend against Perth.”
Nichols- form during his time at Brisbane has also seen him make his mark at international level.
He was a key player in the Qantas Young Socceroos AFC Under 19 Championship campaign in 2008 and is a consistent performer for the national team-s Under 23 side.
The 23-year-old also made his senior international debut against Kuwait in 2009 before his recall to the Qantas Socceroos squad in November last year.
And while his contributions on the pitch are clear to see, Roar coach Vidosic highlighted Nichols- impact off the pitch as well.
“He-s quite funny, he likes to crack a joke,” he said.
“I maybe question his fashion style but he-s a lovely guy, a lovely kid to have around.
“The other players are happy to have him around, in the dressing room he-s the deejay and I-m happy he-s with us too.”
Brisbane Roar-s highly-anticipated Grand Final re-match against Perth Glory at Patersons Stadium is this Sunday, 7 October 2012, kicking off at 2pm local time (4pm Queensland time).
The match will be live and exclusive on Fox Sports and for those without Foxtel, find all the important match updates at Twitter.com/BrisbaneRoar