Hume City take on Sydney Olympic on the round 16 of the FFA Cup and standing in goals for the Victorian NPL side will be a former Liverpool FC youth graduate, Chris Oldfield.
Oldfield, 24, joined the Merseyside giants when he was just 12 years old. At 18 he fulfilled his dream move of signing a professional contract. Among his teammates were – Steven Gerard, Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez and Pepe Reina.
But with Reina in front of him, Oldfied left Anfield. In the subsequent years, false starts at various clubs around the UK saw Oldfield become desperate for first team football so he decided to look Down Under.
Louie Acevski the coach at Hume City signed Oldfield after he saw his YouTube video.
In what was one of the most exhilarating ties in the round of 32 Hume City beat the Brisbane Strikers 4-3. However the experience for Oldfied was nerve-wracking – his costly error leading to the Strikers equalising goal and putting his Victorian NPL side on tenterhooks.
“It was a brilliant game to be part of, it was probably the most exciting game I’ve played in my life,” said the gloveman.
“I’m sure the spectators enjoyed it. As a player though, obviously it was a bit disappointing for myself to make that mistake last minute. Lucky enough the lads got me out of it and they scored from there to win it.”
Looking ahead to the round of round of 16 tie against one of the former NSL heritage clubs, Oldfield is confident that Hume City can win at home on September 1.
“Sydney Olympic will be a tough game. They will not come to our home ground and be a pushover. They are going to give it everything they’ve got because if they win this one, they go into the quarter-finals,” said Oldfield.
“This game is going to be massive for the club and for the players. I’m sure if we turn up on the day as I’m sure we will, we could beat anyone, and that includes Sydney Olympic.”
Last season’s VICNPL Goalkeeper of the Year has bookmarked January 16 as an important date on the Scouser’s calendar. It’s when Oldfield’s Australian residency comes into effect and it could just be his ticket to the A-League.
“I have trained with Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory and I’ve had enquiries from other A-League clubs, and what I’ve been told is that if I had a visa, signing for an A-League club would have happened,” Oldfield said.
His coach at Hume City, Lou Acevski, a former keeper himself, is in no doubt about the quality that Oldfield possesses.
“Chris is a very solid goalkeeper, in all aspects,” the former Melbourne Knights and Northern Spirit keeper said.
“He is six feet two, got a great physique for being a goalkeeper, he’s commanding in his box, he’s a great shot stopper, he works extremely hard at training and he wants to continuously learn.
“Probably the biggest factor for him is he just wants to progress and play at the highest standard he can. That’s something you can’t build into an individual or a character that is something within the individual that really wants to succeed and progress in his footballing career.
“He’s got all the ability in the world he just needs an opportunity.”
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