He’s far from a household name, but Australian goalkeeper Alex Cisak could be playing English Premier League next season and he believes he belongs there.
The Hobart-raised 24-year-old is currently the understudy behind the impressive Thomas Heaton at second-placed Championship outfit Burnley.
With 10 games to play, Burnley are only behind Leicester – coincidentally the same club Cisak won the Premier Academy League title with as a junior in 2006-07.
Seven years on Cisak is dreaming of graduating to the big time.
“It's been the aim for a long time now,” Poland-born Cisak told FourFourTwo.
“I won the EPL academy title with Leicester City way back in 06-07, and it would be great to be able to play in the EPL at first team level too.
“I don't doubt that I belong there, and hopefully it can be with Burnley next season.”
Cisak has plenty of experience, having spent the past three seasons playing regularly in England’s lower leagues with Oldham and Accrington Stanley, before moving to Turf Moor.
The former Australia U-20 international was set to join Blackburn in the off-season, before Lancashire rivals Burnley swooped.
“Initially it looked certain that I was going to sign for Blackburn in the summer,” Cisak revealed.
“But when (Burnley goalkeeper coach) Billy Mercer found out that I wanted to leave Oldham, he and the club jumped to sign me. Burnley's intent made it an impossible offer to turn down.”
Cisak didn’t have to wait long to debut for the Clarets upon his arrival, appearing off the bench against Brighton in August following a red card to Heaton.
Chances have been few and far between since, but Cisak has no doubts about his own ability to do the job full-time.
“I'm in the best shape I've ever been,” he said.
“I've performed when called upon this season, but Tom is having a belter of a year so I just have to keep working hard to stake my claim.
“That's always the decision of the manager. There's no doubting I am able to hold down the number one position, but it's not for me to decide.”
Cisak, who said he had some dialogue with the Socceroos set-up last season, may come across as overly confident but he’s a realist too when discussing his immediate international future.
“I can't wait to play for Australia,” he said.
“But you don't earn a call up sitting on the bench, so I'm just focused on winning the starting jersey at Burnley and pushing on from there.”
Burnley take on relegation battlers Charlton in the Championship on Saturday.comments