Ulverstone’s Jeremy Walker believes he will be a better player at his second attempt at the A-League after receiving a short-term contract with Perth Glory.
The 24-year-old will be on the Glory’s list for at least the next three months as a replacement player and will be looking to add to the 16 appearances he made for Melbourne Heart between 2012 and 2014.
That opportunity could come as soon as Sunday after being named in the travelling party for the clash with Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.
“It is [playing A-League] something that I mentally put on the shelf for the last year and a bit,’’ he told Fairfax Media on Thursday.
“Physically I have always done everything I can to keep my body in check in case anything came along, but three or four years is a long time to be waiting or hoping.
“I have a different approach now, but I definitely never gave up, as I kept doing everything that I needed to ensure I could be ready if this opportunity came up.
“I am definitely more of a knowledgeable player now, as I think my time in England [where he represented Concord Rangers and Braintree Town in the Conference South] was very beneficial for me to help me understand the game a lot better.
“I now I think mentally I treat the game of football as a game a football, not anything more than it is.
“I also feel I am much more of a leader now, and I think my communication and coaching on the pitch is going to help me a lot.”
The right-back said he was looking forward to the mental challenge of playing at the level knowing his long-term future with the team was not confirmed.
“From all communication with the club and coaches, if I do well, it could be longer, and that starts with proving myself out there. I am an aggressive type of player, but I don’t think that aspect will add too much pressure for myself.”
Walker has had to give up a teaching job in Melbourne to take this opportunity.
The news of Walker’s signing with Perth Glory comes a week after Hobart’s Josh Hope made his A-League debut for Melbourne Victory against Sydney FC.
Perth Glory, who opened their A-League season with a 2-1 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers last week, will face a Jets side coming off a 5-1 win over Central Coast Mariners.
Sunday’s game starts at 5pm.