Brisbane Roar attacking weapon James Meyer needed no second invitation on his Hyundai A-League debut last January, waiting just four minutes to find the back of the net against Central Coast Mariners to keep his side’s unbeaten run on track.
Brisbane Roar attacking weapon James Meyer needed no second invitation on his Hyundai A-League debut last January, waiting just four minutes to find the back of the net against Central Coast Mariners to keep his side-s unbeaten run on track.
Meyer went on to score three goals in his next three games before a toe ligament injury prematurely ended his season but showed enough to Head Coach Ange Postecoglou to warrant a new two-year extension to his current deal.
This season, Meyer has been in and out of the Roar starting eleven but has again made it count in his cameos – scoring the winner against Newcastle Jets, this weekend-s opponents, in the club-s last visit to Hunter Stadium.
Here, Meyer talks about his Hyundai A-League debut, his friendship with Thomas Broich and his memories of the historic 2011 Hyundai A-League grand final at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbaneroar.com.au caught up with Meyer before training on Tuesday afternoon to ask your chosen questions from Facebook and Twitter.
1. What was going through your mind when you made your Hyundai A-League debut last year against the Mariners and then when you scored?
When I was going onto the field, I was thinking ‘don-t mess up-. I had to make sure I did my job and work hard once I got out there – that-s all that was pretty much going through my mind. Ange gave me a few words of encouragement and when I scored, I was pretty happy. I don-t think it was until after the game that I realised that I had evened the score. I-m pretty comfortable shooting from that range so when I saw the opportunity, I had a crack.
2. Being a former local league player yourself, do you think there are many Brisbane Premier League or Queensland State League players that could make the step up to the Hyundai A-League?
Yeah, definitely. I think there-s more than a few that given the chance could do quite. I head down whenever I can, especially down to Easts [Brisbane Premier League club Eastern Suburbs] and it-s always good to see them again. Some of the younger boys that I played with are still growing up at the moment but I could definitely see A-League in their futures. The fact that I got picked up when I was a bit older – I think that-s a good sign. Just because they haven-t made it yet and they might feel as though they want to start looking at other things, they should take it as a bit of encouragement not to give up quite yet.
3. What motivates you to stay at Brisbane Roar instead of moving to another club where you might see a bit more game time?
This is a difficult question to answer. I just love the standard of everything that is done here. The style of game we have here, the coaching staff, the way we train, the success we-re having – everything really. I-m still learning a lot on the field and in training, I-m still pushing myself to be better which is important. Even though I might not be playing a lot, I-m still improving as a footballer and I-ll always be ready when I get a chance to play. I guess there-s no way of telling if I-ve got another level in me until I do it but I hope so and I hope there-s more than one!
4. Do you feel more pressure when you come on as an ‘impact- player or substitute as opposed to when you start a game?
I guess in a way, yeah I do. Trying to make something happen and change the game in a shorter period of time, it can be difficult. Coming onto the field, the change of pace from sitting on the bench is difficult as well. You have to come into a game and be quick to get the feel of it. It-s not always easy when you-ve got 10 or 15 minutes, especially when we-re down and we-re expected to turn it around and work some magic. There-s a lot more pressure there but at the same time, I enjoy that pressure. There are definitely advantages to it as well.
5. We-ve seen you play in a few different positions up front. Which is your favourite?
I-ve always considered myself a bit of an attacking midfielder but I have enjoyed playing up front when I-ve had the opportunity. Even out wide, I-m getting more comfortable with that role now. But when the opportunity arises, I-ll play wherever I-m told to – if the gaffer says goalkeeper, I-ll be in goals!
6. Which is the best goal you-ve ever scored?
Probably my first one. We were down a goal and it was A-League debut for the Roar so it-s very significant for me. It was a long range effort and I like those type of shots – I like to think they-re kind of my thing so it was quite fitting that I scored in that way. That-s probably as good as I-ve scored so far in my career.
7. You hang out with Thomas Broich a lot. What has he taught you on and off the field and vice versa?
I think we get along because we-re very similar characters in a lot of ways. We talk a lot, mostly about stuff off the field like music. We-re both really into music so a lot of our time is spent talking about that and playing instruments. There-s always on-field stuff to chat about as well, position-wise and how we think each other could improve. I like to think I can help him out too – whether or not he listens is a different story!
8. Do you have any game day superstitions?
I-m not really a superstitious person but I do have my routine. On game day, I wake up, have a normal breakfast like cereal or something. I like to relax and not think too much about the game until a couple of hours beforehand. I have a few musts – one is guitar-playing and usually a nap as well. I guess you could say those are the two main things I like to do on game day and I like to keep it the same whether we-re playing home or away. In the changing rooms, I like to get ready a little bit before the boys so I can sit there and listen to my iPod before we go out onto the field. I have a little playlist for game days which gets me in the right frame of mind.
9. Yesterday was one year on from the 2011 Hyundai A-League Grand Final. What are your memories from that day?
There are so many. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is when Ricky [Henrique] scored the winner, trying to scream and not hearing my own voice and wondering whether I was actually screaming or not. It was just a great night all round. It-s hard to remember parts of it clearly but I don-t think there was ever a point that I had ever given up. Even when they scored that second goal, I thought ‘it-s not over yet-. We made a habit last year and even this year to a point of coming back from behind. There wasn-t really too much lost hope there. I was obviously disappointed that I was injured and not playing but it was just a great night and I don-t think it was spoiled in the end by the fact I wasn-t playing.