After stints in the Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers’ youth sides, young Australian footballer Alistair Quinn has sealed a move to Eredivise side NAC Breda F.C. after a successful trial. He spoke to Football Central’s Adam Howard about the move and his footballing experiences.
How did the trial with NAC come about?
My agent Boris Ivanov put me in contact with his partners (Mo and Marcel from Sport and Future Academy) in Holland who trained me and assessed what level they thought I was capable of playing. The timing was not ideal as I came to Holland in mid-September, so clubs were no longer looking for players to sign. They were confident I was up to Eredivisie standard so they were able to arrange a trial for me at NAC Breda. I had one session and a game the next day against FC Eindhoven. I did well and scored in the game and NAC offered me an extended trial until the Winter stop. So I moved to Breda and trained full time with the reserves for two months (mid-October to mid-December) and played friendly games. NAC were satisfied with me and offered me a contract with the reserves for the remainder of the season.
How did you find the whole experience?
It was a tough experience. Any footballer who has done trials overseas knows that it’s not easy but its part of the game. Only the top bracket of players in the world don’t have to trial so for the rest of us I guess you just have to be confident and believe in yourself. And a bit of luck always helps!
What kind of player do you see yourself as?
I primarily play fullback (right or left), however I can also play in the midfield or on the wing. So I would say I am a versatile player. I am strong with both feet and keep it simple. I would describe myself as a reliable player who will give 100% for the team. I try and model my game on Phillipp Lahm
What parts of your game are you looking to develop with NAC?
I am trying to improve every aspect of my game. But I have been working hard with the coaching staff on improving specifically my power and explosiveness and my one v one defending.
You were at the Wanderers and Roar in their youth set-ups. Why do you think it didn’t happen for you at these clubs?
I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. I can safely say I gave it my best at both clubs, but it just didn’t work out. Also, both clubs were having very successful periods while I was there (Roar won the title back to back, and we all know about Western Sydney Wanderers last season). I was obviously disappointed that I couldn’t break in to the first team at these clubs, however I refused to give up. I have a British passport so I will continue to pursue my dream until it becomes a reality.
What are your expectations for this season at NAC? Is first team football in the Eredivisie a possibility?
My goal for this season is to make my debut in the Eredivisie. To do that I will need to be putting in very good performances each week in the reserves and give the coaches no choice but to give me an opportunity in the first team. If I can do that then yes I think first team football in the Eredivise is a possibility this season
Who do you attribute your football development to so far?
My parents and my grandfather.
Are there any players who’ve inspired you?
Steven Gerrard was my footballing idol when I was younger, and still is I guess, but now I try and model my game on Phillipp Lahm. He puts in an 8/10 performance every single game, and that consistency is something I am striving for as a fullback
What have been some of your career highlights so far?
Playing for Australia without a doubt. I was selected in an u-20/s squad and traveled to Japan to play against Mexico, Japan and Shizouka in 2011 and that is my favourite moment so far.
What is the longer term goal?
To be playing professionally in Europe and play for the Socceroos.