Winger Jai Ingham looms as one of the main weapons for Hume City in the all Victorian FFA Cup quarter final clash against Oakleigh Cannons on Tuesday night.
Originally from Lennox Head in NSW, near Byron Bay, the Brisbane Roar youth product has a taste for goal tallies in the double digits.
He scored 14 goals for Brisbane Olympic in their 2013 Premiership and Grand Final winning squad.
In 2013-14 he netted 13 goals in 11 appearances for the Roar NYL team and was named in the QLD NPL football team of the year.
Two years ago FourFourTwo rated Ingham one of the best players outside the A-League and his Hume City coach, Lou Acevski, believes his young charge has the ability to make the step up.
“He’s one of those players that deserves an opportunity to go places,” Asevski said of the 22-year-old. “His attributes are his pace and his acceleration from a starting position.
“His footwork is very good when he gets on the ball. He’s got a very good right foot and he’s got sharp turns and he loves to score goals.”
Ingham is confident that home advantage will prove decisive when Hume City clash with the Cannons for semi-final spot.
“I think we are going to come out on top,” Ingham said. “All the players are feeling good and feeling fit especially because we are playing on our pitch.
“I don’t think teams like coming to our pitch because it’s a very big pitch and we like to play on it. So it’s a huge advantage for us and I think we can overcome the battle and move on to the semi-finals and hopefully get the club on the map.”
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Ingham moved to Brisbane to play when he was 16. His mum is born in New Zealand but has Samoan background and he is looking to emulate cousin Jonny Hall and one day represent the island nation.
But at the moment the focus is on the Tuesday night and Ingham says his teammates are revelling in the opportunity.
“I wouldn’t say we are feeling the pressure because we are all very, very confident in our own ability,” he said.
“We are all buzzing for the quarter-final. We want to get through. It would be a huge accomplishment for all the players and the club especially.
“I’m looking for my team to perform and get the win and keep going further in the FFA Cup.
“We have a lot of quality players in our team. There are three, four, five of us that could move forward onto the A-League and get gigs. But at the end of the day we are just looking to keep progressing for our team Hume City and hopefully make the final.”
(PHOTO - by Mark Avellino and supplied by FFV)