Burns: A-League looks faster, more professional

Nathan Burns believes the Hyundai A-League has evolved since his last stint in the competition with Adelaide United.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets forward Nathan Burns believes the Hyundai A-League has evolved since his last stint in the competition with Adelaide United ended in 2008

Burns spent two seasons at the Reds, scoring 12 goals in 37 A-League and Asian Champions League before being signed by Greek giants AEK Athens in 2008.

The 25-year-old could potentially get his first taste of the current level of the Hyundai A-League when the Jets take on Wellington Phoenix in a pre-season trial match at Rockwell Automation Park in Weston on Saturday.

After following the Hyundai A-League closely during his time abroad in Europe and Korea, Burns believes he is returning to a tougher competition than the one he left five years ago.

“It definitely looks different. It looks a lot faster and more professional, so I-m excited to get out there and see the level change,” Burns said.

“Obviously I want to have that impact. I-ve done it before, so I really want to get out there and give it my best and do as much as I can for Newcastle and myself.

“The only pressure is what I put on myself and I wouldn-t call it pressure, more expectation.

“I-m not coming here for a six-month holiday, I really want to do well and push my career back up.”

Burns has represented the Socceroos on seven occasions, including at the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar.

After speaking to Australian coach Holger Osieck about his move to the Jets, Burns revealed he is hoping to use his loan stint at Newcastle as way to move back into the frame for national team selection.

“I had just a small word (to Holger), while he was in Korea,” Burns explained.

“I just told him that I-ve signed a deal back here to get back playing and most importantly get some game time.

“With the Socceroos playing so many games and the World Cup just around the corner, there-s so many opportunities for all the young players in the A-League, not just myself and it-s going to be a big year for all the players.

“You-ve got to earn your spot. I was training hard and working hard at my Club in Korea, but I wasn-t playing.

“I felt like as long as I got back playing I-d give myself a great opportunity to get back in the (Socceroos) squad.”

Burns said he is glad to be in Newcastle and is looking forward to having the opportunity to play in front of loved ones again.

“I felt like Newcastle were really keen to have me play at this football Club and that was the most important thing to me,” Burns said.

“It was going to be a bit of a battle with my Korean Club to get me here on a loan deal, but the Jets were happy to stick it out and eventually it went through.

“My parents can come down and watch the games and I actually went school in Sydney, so it-s very close to home.

“I-m quite happy to be back in New South Wales and able to play in front of family and friends again.”

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix Rockwell Automation Park, Weston Saturday, August 24th Kick-off 4.30pm