While he is now making waves in the A-League competition as the captain of the Melbourne Victory, this week Josh Brillante returned to where it all started to show juniors at Across the Waves Football Club a few tips and tricks.
Josh, who returns to Bundaberg every year to visit, said he loved seeing the up-and-coming talent at the football clinics he hosted at his junior club.
As part of the clinics Josh said he looked forward to passing on what he had learnt to up-and-coming stars of the game while also hoping to inspire them to strive to kick goals.
“I come back to Bundy once a year and I pop in to say hi to everyone and talk to them about my experience in football,” he said.
“I think it is important for younger players to know that even through you are from a small or regional town, you can still have opportunities if you work hard and strive for it.
“It is fantastic to come home and be back where it all started, it brings back so many memories as a kid and it is great to see so many kids running around and having fun and to give back to the community that helped me.”
Young participant Emma Smith was a standout player for Josh during the Under 6 and 7 clinic, and he presented her with a Melbourne Victory Beanie.
“I always love to bring back a few different things to give to a few young players who really impresses me, and Emma was that player,” he said.
“Her footwork and being this age and dribbling with a ball at your feet, she seemed to do it at ease.
“I always spot a few players every time I come back that have potential which is great to see that at a young age.
“There are some fantastic players here and I hope they keep working at it because you never know where they will go.”
Josh had one piece of advice for young players.
“You need to have a desire to keep going,” he said.
“It is not an easy sport to make it in and there will be a lot of challenging times but if you are passionate about it then keep working hard and you never know where it will take it.”
Josh started his football career at Across the Waves, playing for the club until he was 15 when he moved to Brisbane to be part of the academy and work his way to where he is today.
“I was in Bundaberg until I was 15 then I moved to Brisbane to be in the academy and youth league and eventually moved to the league and had the opportunity to go overseas for a few years as well,” he said.
Josh is a defensive midfielder for Melbourne Victory, being named captain for the 2021/22 season.
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