Four PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland products are forging a path to national prominence this summer with Hyundai A-League club Newcastle Jets.
Despite being at different stages in their respective careers and development, Lachlan Jackson, Braedyn Crowley, Bon Scott and Ryan Ensor have all found a home in northern New South Wales after impressing in recent seasons in Queensland’s elite club competition.
20-year-old defender Jackson, previously with Brisbane Roar Youth, has been the most prominent of the Queensland contingent at the club this season – making seven Hyundai A-League starts since late October after debuting with Roar in the national top tier at the end of last season.
Jackson earned his chance in the top team at left back after injury to Korean import Lee Ki-je and, while well aware that nothing can be taken for granted in professional football, he believes he is beginning to settle into life as a Hyundai A-League player.
“Each game I have grown in confidence and each game I approach with a bit more experience and I feel a bit more comfortable out there,” Jackson explained.
In recent weeks Jackson and his fellow Jets defenders have been tasked with closing down some of the league’s most ruthless attackers – including Roar’s Jamie McLaren, Melbourne Victory’s Besart Berisha and Melbourne City’s Aaron Mooy. He explained the learning curve has been steep, but it is also a challenge he is relishing.
“They pounce on your mistakes, so you’ve got to be switched on for ninety minutes and that’s a big step-up from the youth league and the NPL.”
Jackson offered the following advice to aspiring defenders across the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland age groups hoping to emulate his advance to the professional ranks.
“Make every day count. Don’t just turn up to training but try to learn every day and take advice from the coaches and the senior players in the squad because a lot of them have been there and done that.”
Joining Jackson in the Jets line-up in recent weeks is 19-year-old striker Crowley – who was recognised as the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland 2014 Young Player of the Year award for his returns with Northern Fury.
Waiting in the wings at Jets are Foxtel National Youth League duo Bon Scott, previously with Western Pride, and SWQ Thunder product Ryan Ensor.
While the bright lights of the Hyundai A-League are unlikely to shine on them this season, both are continuing to develop their talents as part of the club’s youth set-up.Click here for the full story.