Preparing for his first season as a professional footballer, Newcastle Jets forward Andy Brennan shares with the PFA his journey from Hobart to the A-League, his hopes ahead of the upcoming campaign and much more.

Q. Less than 12 months ago you were playing in Tasmania, did you hold the ambition to make it to the A-League?

AB: You always work as hard as you can but there is no A-League team in Tasmania so most of players are looking to get into the VPL (Victorian National Premier League). That is really the next step and that was what I aimed for


Q. How did the move come about to South Melbourne from Tasmania?

AB: We played South Melbourne in the NPL finals and in that game myself and another player played pretty well and they offered us contracts from that. I started with them in January this year so alot has happened in a really short space of time


Q. How did you handle the step up to South Melbourne?

AB: The coach I had in Tasmania was really professional and put a lot of work into our training session so that made it easier but it was a step up. David Clarkson helped me get a job at Teamsports Australia so I was doing that as well and that helped me to settle in.


Q. What were your expectations ahead that season, did you have an eye on the A-League?

AB: I didn’t really think too much about the A-League when I joined South Melbourne. I was just hoping to do well at South Melbourne because they are a really big club especially when you are from Tassie.


Q. Not long into your time at the club it was announced that you had joined the Jets how did that come about?

AB: I went up to Newcastle on trial and unfortunately the weather was really bad and it was hard to get out onto the pitch. After we finally got out on the pitch I got offered a contract the next day so it all happened really quickly.


Q. What was going through your head when you got offered your first professional contract?

AB: It all happened so quickly. I didn’t really have that much time to think about it. For a Tasmanian to get into the A-League, there has been Jeremy Walker, but not many others so hopefully it shows people from there that it is possible. It shows there is a bit of a pathway there.


Q. Having finally got to the A-League things as the Jets would take a turn for the worse with the club being put into administration. How did you handle that time?

AB: It did raise a few concerns. David Clarkson, my agent, helped me through that time and kept me focused and made sure I didn’t think about it too much. I still had games to play for South Melbourne and I wanted to do well so that helped to keep my mind off things.


Q. Things would get resolved at Newcastle, what are your memories of that first training session?

AB: I didn’t think too much about where I had been or what had come before, my focus was on the here and now. I really want to look forward.


Q. How have you found the adjustment to full-time football?

AB: I have been loving it. I suppose the intensity is higher and it has taken a while for the body to get used to that. It is great to be here and I have loved it all.


Q. You are just a month out from the season, what are your expectations?

AB: The boys have been doing really well. The training has been a massive step up. Come the start of the season I think we will be ready to do really well.


Q. Finally, how can we get more players from Tasmania playing in the A-League?

AB: There needs to be a pathway that they can see. It can be hard if you are playing and training hard and you can’t see it going anywhere, that can take away your motivation. It would be hard to have an A-League team in Tasmania but there is starting to be a pathway for players to go over to Victoria and play there and that is a positive.


Each week the PFA will go 1v1 with a current or former professional footballer to gain an insight into their lives on and off the pitch.