Nottingham Forest sign Aussie teen

EXCLUSIVE: Former Sydney FC forward Josh Macdonald has secured a two-year deal with English side Nottingham Forest and is hoping to make his debut for the club’s development team on Monday.

Macdonald relocated to the UK in July after undergoing trials with Forest in February this year and previously in 2013.

The 18-year old striker is elated to have finally made his move into English football after also spending time with Aston Villa.

“I love it because everything is about football over here,” Macdonald told FourFourTwo.

“I’m really enjoying Forest a lot. It’s a very good club and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Macdonald’s persistence paid off after initially impressing at the Championship club last year.

“I think I did exceptionally well to be honest, I trained very hard,” he said.

“I did everything I could. Then I came home and literally everyone got sacked at the club, all the personnel and staff at the club changed, no-one really knew what I was about.

“So I came back in February and trialed again and was successful and am now here for good.”

Macdonald has only just received his international clearance and is hoping for a spot in the Forest Under-21 side’s next match against Swansea on Monday night.
“Hopefully I get a chance,” he said.

As a junior Macdonald came through the ranks at Illawarra club Unanderra Hearts and then the Sutherland Sharks.

The centre forward and attacking midfielder has represented Australia at Under-17 level several times and had a stint with Sydney FC’s National Youth League side.

Macdonald believes Nottingham Forest is the best place for him to continue to develop.

“I’m just going to take it step-by-step, focusing on getting in the 21s squad, cement my spot first and hopefully bigger and better things come from there if I keep performing,” he said.

“I’d like to thank John Klappas and David Magrone, the two guys that helped me get to where I am. They have been a big part of getting the opportunity to head over here.

“Forest is a very, very big club – (it’s won) two European cups. And I think this year maybe is the one when they get back into the Premier League because I think a club this big doesn’t really deserve to be down in the Championship.”

The Reds, who are managed by former England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce, are currently top of the Championship after an eight-game unbeaten start to the season.

“I’ve had a few sessions with him (Pearce) but not too much at the minute,” Macdonald said.

“Hopefully when I start playing then he starts watching me and I can impress him and show him what I can do.

“It’s a massive opportunity for all the youth boys and Under-21 boys under him. He’s already shown that he’s willing to bring boys up to the first-team.”

Macdonald is also hopeful of being selected for the Young Socceroos in Myanmar next month, as the Aussie Under-20s seek to qualify for next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

“It’s always a privilege to represent your country,” he said.

“It’s something that I really want to do and I really want to be a part of. I just hope I get back into the squad.”