“Happy New Years!

I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday season and are excited to get the new year underway.
As we enter into a new decade, we enter into the potential that these next 10 years hold.

I spent the last couple days doing some self-reflection on these past 10 years and the way my life has changed in that time. 10 years ago, I was 14 years old, entering into my freshman year of high school (equivalent to Year 11 here).

As a footballer, I pride myself on where I have come and the growth I’ve undergone in these past 10 years. I was never highly rated as a goalkeeper in my youth – in fact I was cut from my academy team when I was 13.

There are certain people who believed in me who I attribute my success to, those that saw potential that others couldn’t. But I couldn’t have asked for a better experience as a young footballer than what I went through.

I learned from a young age that nothing is given to you for free in this world – nobody owes you
anything. As a kid, I never had the luxury of being at the top of the pack. This meant I never had the opportunity to stop and enjoy the view, I had to constantly continue to push myself with a work ethic that was being created by the environment of an “underdog”. Every single one of us was a young kid once, and we all know that during those times, we thought we knew it all.

I can say confidently that we can all look back and laugh at ourselves for being so foolish – if we only knew what we know now. Then in 10 years, we can repeat the cycle over again!

At that age, if you begin to think you can give anything less than your best each and every day
and still achieve success, you enter a dangerous complacency mindset. This can be seen over
and over again in the football world, promising youth talent who seem destined to be the next
icon of the game slip away and never amount to what was expected of them.

In one of my first blogs, I mentioned a saying that I live by – “The only easy day was yesterday”. This saying comes from the Navy Seals, but they are words that were enforced in me at my high school 10 years ago. At this age, this is what I believe every single kid should be taught & is the philosophy I try to instill in any young player I meet.

What makes me proud to be apart of this club is that the boys surrounding me in the changing
room have all bought into this philosophy as well. There are no feelings of entitlement within our squad – nobody owes us anything. From top to bottom, that is a core principle this years squad is built upon, which I believe is a major reason you see that passionate fighting spirit when we take the pitch.

What a decade it’s been, I couldn’t be more excited to start this next one here with all of you on Saturday.

Up the Ports.