North determined to buck the A-League trend
It’s no secret that the Hyundai A-League players are at a distinct disadvantage, when it comes to playing in the AFC World Cup qualifiers throughout June. But Jade North is one player that’s determined to buck the trend.
It-s no secret that the Hyundai A-League players are at a distinct disadvantage, when it comes to playing in the AFC World Cup qualifiers throughout June. But Jade North is one player that-s determined to buck the trend.
Most A-League clubs have only just returned to the training ground after their off-season breaks, some of which were fairly lengthy (those clubs who did not make the finals), so fitness was always going to be an issue.
But North, along with his Newcastle Jets teammate Adam Griffiths and Central Coast Mariners- Mile Jedinak, got a little extra training recently with the Olyroos up in Townsville.
Twice a day for a week, everyone was put through some grueling sessions by Graham Arnold to get them ready for the Intercontinental Cup tournament in Malaysia, which is being played at the moment. The three Socceroos were asked by Verbeek to attend with the next five weeks in mind and North readily admits, he felt much better for it.
“I am feeling good and looking forward to this week and hopefully a few more,” he said after training this morning.
“I hadn-t really done anything for a while, but going up there (to Townsville); we worked really hard with the boys. We had four days after that and then we (the Olyroos) played Adelaide United here (Parramatta Stadium) and I felt really good.”
North is now eager to get stuck into the matches, not just because they are important World Cup qualifiers, but they will hopefully be a shop window to a potential career move overseas.
“I don-t want a break, I just want to continue playing,” he said. “The overseas boys will probably want a break now, but me personally I just want to play as much football as I can.
“Anytime you play with the national team, it-s a massive opportunity and it-s a shop window and I have just got to play well, hold my position and hopefully someone-s out there that can see my performance. I just hope it all goes well.”
As the reigning Hyundai A-League Champion captain, North certainly has a lot going for him here in Australia and with still one more year on his contract, he is more than happy to see that out if nothing eventuates on the overseas front.
“I am a Newcastle player at the moment, but my ambitions are to try and head overseas. But I am a Jets player and I will continue to do everything I can for them.
“I am 26 now and if I want to go overseas, it has to be very soon. Like I said, I am still contracted; I have another year left, so we-ll just have to wait and see.”
But his main focus is to help the Socceroos get through this phase of qualifiers and going by his performance against China in Kunming and comments from Verbeek, North looks set to figure prominently in the next month of football.
“I really enjoyed the experience with the team in China and we got a great result over there and hopefully we can continue that.
“I have been involved in all the camps here and hopefully I can just keep on playing well. I have got the confidence now to perform well.
One of North-s biggest assets is his versatility across the backline and the fact he can slot into any formation that is put out there.
“I can play anywhere across the back, which is good for me. We played a back three in China and we played that in final with the Jets and I felt really comfortable there. With Jets we had played a back four all season, so either or, it doesn-t really bother me."