Roar giving former Ipswich striker a top shot
ONE of the biggest demands being in the Brisbane Roar football organisation is training five days a week. That's the case even for a player rated "something different''.
However, former Western Pride striker Harry Sawyer is coping extremely well after being signed to play for Roar in the 2015/16 National Youth League.
"It's not too bad at the moment,'' Sawyer said of the increased workload after previously training three nights a week in Ipswich with Pride.
"My body is starting to adjust a bit. Now I like training five days a week.''
Sawyer, 18, has been with Roar for a month after being asked to trial.
His signing followed a 90 minute appearance for a National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland under 23 All-Stars team against the Roar senior side.
"I was invited by the coaches at the Roar after that game to train with them,'' Pride's 2015 season Golden Boot winner said.
"After that I got the gig.
"It's something that I aimed to do. I always wanted to improve and this is something that will really help me do that.''
After a couple of sessions with the Roar A-League squad, he's settled into working regularly with the club's youth team playing in the 2015/16 National Youth League.
Sawyer came off the bench in Roar's season-opening 2-0 victory against Perth last weekend, securing 15 minutes of valuable playing time.
"It was a good start for the season especially for an away trip. It was a long trip to Perth,'' the 193cm tall striker said.
"It definitely gave me an insight of what the rest of the season will be like.
"It's similar to NPL but a lot more technical because all the players have come through that system of training every day.
"It's quite a bit sharper and a bit faster with the younger players. It really tests you.''
Brisbane Roar youth coach Josh McCloughan describes Sawyer as "something different''.
"He's a handful and he knows how to come in to link play and bring midfielders and other players into play,'' McCloughan said.
"That's what he does very, very well. He's also got good feet and he can score goals.
"He comes to the club with a great attitude to his football.
"That is not surprising as he worked under Karl Dodd (Roar's current high performance manager) at Western Pride.
"Karl is a very good coach and the standards Harry displayed when he came into the Roar system were set by Karl previously so we will just continue on from that.''
McCloughan was pleased to see Sawyer share match minutes last weekend with Joeys and Young Socceroo representative Nick D'Agostino.
"The Roar are blessed to have two talented forwards like Nick and Harry who are quite different but both very effective,'' the coach said.
"One minute (Perth Glory) had to the deal with Nick then Harry come on and caused a whole new bunch of problems of his own.''
Having received a taste in Roar's first-up success, Sawyer is focused on securing a starting spot in the team, which plays Melbourne Victory at Cleveland tomorrow.
"I'm itching to get a start on a field I'm more familiar with,'' said Sawyer, who turns 19 on December 31.
The QUT business management student is also considering deferring his course next season to concentrate on his latest opportunity.
"It's all up to me really how I train and how I perform,'' he said.
"I possibly might have a break just to focus on football. I'll see how it goes.''
As Pride's 2015 Golden Boot winner chases higher goals, Sawyer appreciates his time at the Pride.
"It was awesome, probably one of my most enjoyable seasons,'' Sawyer said.