Bondi boy Max Burgess became the latest player to represent the Newcastle Jets when he came on for a 30-minute, second stanza cameo against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.Having signed with the Club on a short-term contract on Saturday, Burgess made his bow for the Novocastrians a day later and performed admirably in just his second appearance in Australia’s top flight.
The 20-year-old – who spent a year training and playing in Spain at the Fundación Marcet Football Academy during his teenage years – is seeking to make the most of his five week spell with the Club as it concludes Hyundai A-League season ten.
Speaking with local media following the team’s recovery session at Merewether Baths on Monday morning, Burgess said his sole focus during his brief, initial stint with the Club is to do all he can to help the team and earn a contract for next campaign.
“It’s all come as a bit of a surprise really,” Burgess said of his transition from Sydney FC Youth player to Newcastle Jets first team squad member within the past three weeks. “I came up here [on trial] looking for an opportunity for the coming seasons.”
“I played in the first A-League game [at Sydney FC] but I haven’t had time on the field, so I started looking at other opportunities. To be playing three weeks later is quite surreal, but really enjoyable.”
“At my age as a young player coming through I need to be playing minutes. I see Newcastle as a team that is going to be a big team next year, one that will be successful and that can do something like Wellington has done.”
“I still only have five weeks to prove myself so I want to do as best as I can for the Club for the rest of the season and then see where it goes from there. I need to secure myself an A-League contract, that’s my first goal.”
Burgess left Australia as a 16-year-old bound for Barcelona where he lived for a year at the Fundación Marcet Football Academy.
It was in Catalunya working with Marcet’s highly regarded staff that he furthered developed his passion for the game, as well as his technical proficiency.
“It was a great time for me,” Burgess explained. “Living in Spain every minute of every day is football, so you’re obviously living and breathing it. I think you improve as a player like that.”
A Lionel Messi aficionado and regular at the Camp Nou’s for Barça matches during his time living in Europe, Burgess said that like in Barcelona he is a fan of Newcastle’s beaches and “chilled out” vibe.
Moreover, he noted that he’s been impressed with the way he’s been welcomed to the Jets.
“As a Club it’s really welcoming,” he said. “The boys have been nice, the coaching staff obviously have been really friendly, so I am enjoying my time.”
And like Head Coach Phil Stubbins, Burgess saw positives in the team’s performance against the Reds at the weekend.
“I think we definitely deserved to get points out of the game,” he said. “We created the chances, so it’s frustrating not to be winning, but there are definitely positives there that we created enough chances to win.”