Since landing on Australian shores just under a month ago, Bobby Burns has been hard at work to integrate himself into the Newcastle set-up.
On loan from Scottish Premier League club, Hearts, the youngster has had to adapt to a much warmer climate and a different style of football.
Burns arrived too late to take any part in the side’s FFA Cup run, but has seen game time in friendlies against both Sydney FC and the Young Socceroos.
His first taste of competitive action may come this weekend against the Central Coast Mariners, and the 19-year-old can’t wait.
“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s been a long time coming for me and the rest of the boys,” Burns said.
“My pre-season started on the 11th of June with Hearts, so I’m delighted that the season is finally starting and looking forward to seeing how it goes.”
Although Newcastle has only been his home for a couple of weeks, Burns is more than aware of just how much this derby means to the Jets faithful.
With the squad drumming home to the left-footed fullback the importance of the F3 Derby, he also has his own experiences to draw on.
Burns’ parent club, Hearts, share a massive rivalry in Scottish football with Edinburgh cousins Hibernian. It’s the second in the Scottish derby stakes to only the famous Celtic-Rangers clash.
He featured in one of those derbies last season, playing 90 minutes for Hearts in a 2-1 loss to Hibs, and described the atmosphere and the intensity of the derby as ‘different class’.
Saturday’s clash shapes as a big one for the Jets – an opportunity to earn back derby bragging rights, and get the 2019/20 campaign off to the best possible start.
“Hopefully we can get the upper hand, obviously with the Mariners losing at the weekend [2-1 to Wanderers] we’re level on points so it’s a good opportunity to start the season off and get ourselves above them,” Burns said.
“The derby, at Hearts where I’m from is obviously a big one. Derbies are very different from most games so hopefully, we get a good crowd to it to start the season.”