Nick Ansell is loving every minute of football with his childhood club Melbourne Victory.
The 22 year old defender believes he would be ready for a Socceroos call-up if the opportunity arose.
THE TURF caught up with Ansell at the Adidas store relaunch in Bourke St last week.
“Obviously I would love to play for the Socceroos. I’m 22 now and I have won a premiership in the A-League. I need to get my body right first and hopefully I keep playing good football and the opportunity might come my way.”
Appearing as a regular starter in defence, Ansell played a pivotal role in Melbourne Victory’s
Hyundai A-League Championship. Ansell has a strong frame, and is a certain bet to win a 1-1 aerial challenge. He has capitalized on the golden opportunity to play alongside veteran marquee defender
Delpierre has been a rock at the back for Victory, and a great mentor for the young defender. His experience winning the Bundesliga with Stuttgart and playing in the UEFA Champions League is an invaluable asset for Ansell. His improved awareness and composure at the back has been a notable factor since Delpierre’s arrival.
“I have learned a massive amount off him. It’s a priveledge to play next to someone who is such a great player. You see him play in the A-League and he does dominate. You very rarely see him make any mistakes. It really is an honor to play alongside him.”
The Frenchman has raved to the media about Ansell’s professionalism and believes his call up to the Socceroos is inevitable.
Ansell celebrated his 50th appearance this month, and says he is finally overcoming his injury concerns.
“I have struggled with a few niggles coming back with my quad but other than that I thought I have been playing some good football since I’ve been back. They are not serious injuries at all.”
Ansell is relishing the opportunity of taking on ‘Asia’s best’ in the Asian Champions League. His solid performances in defence have been essential to Victory’s undefeated streak after the first three group games.
“It’s a bit of a different game, a more fast paced game with a lot of attacks. Also at some stages of the game can also be a lot more possession based and slow the game down as well. It’s a different game of football but i really enjoy playing ACL myself and so do the other boys as well.”
Ansell made his mark playing for Bentleigh Greens at the top level of Victoria’s state division, before gaining a youth contract with Melbourne Victory. Another great success story of the rising talent that is starting to shine through grassroots football and the National Premier League.
If Ansell can continue to perform consistently, we could see the young gun wearing the Green and Gold sooner than later.
Words by Ari Charilaou (He’s also on twitter here)
Photography- Aleks K (He’s also on twitter here)