Well-travelled Ipswich Knights midfielder Matt Christensen shadows a Rocklea United player during his side’s recent 4-0 victory at Bundamba.
Well-travelled Ipswich Knights midfielder Matt Christensen shadows a Rocklea United player during his side’s recent 4-0 victory at Bundamba. Sarah Harvey

Skilful Knights recruit on rise

IPSWICH-bred footballer Matt Christensen was playing with the Brisbane Strikers in the State League when his Moores Pocket home was flooded in January last year.

Like so many Ipswich people affected by the floods, it was a heart-breaking experience.

However, Christensen seized on the opportunity to join the Ipswich Knights Division 1 side this year following the flood torment.

After three seasons travelling with the Strikers and having a young family, Christensen wanted to return to Ipswich to renovate his damaged house.

The footballer and his wife Kiah also welcomed son Jasper into the world at Christmas, joining the couple's three-year-old daughter Shiloh.

The Knights' offer allowed him to keep playing while working on his house.

"It (recovering from the flood) was tough. We're just getting over it now," said Christensen, 25.

"Life is only getting back to normal now."

After five matches with the Knights, Christensen is happy with his decision.

"I did enjoy it at the Strikers," Christensen said. "It was just my personal circumstances.

"It (moving to the Knights) was a bit of a change. I like it."

Preparing for tomorrow's match against second-placed Albany Creek at Bundamba, Christensen has shared in the Knights' recent frustrations with injury setbacks.

However, he was pleased to have played an important midfield role in last Sunday's 3-1 victory over Mt Gravatt - one of the club's most courageous wins in many years.

The victory lifted the injury-depleted Knights to seventh spot, keeping them in touch with the top four.

"We've just got to get into consistent form," the former English player said.

"Once we get a consistent team together and start winning some games, I think we'll keep winning."

Christensen said the standard between State League and Division 1 was a lot different and "not as serious".

But he's hoping Ipswich has a team in next year's top Football Brisbane competition, providing a local challenge to keep him in Ipswich.

"I want to play in an Ipswich team if we get in the the Premier League," the centre midfielder said.

Christensen grew up in the Goodna area starting with the Ipswich Knights under-12s.

After being scouted as a state representative junior with Brisbane Lions, he played professionally for Coventry and Southampton.

Back in Australia, he had a season with Western Spirit and captained Brisbane City aged 21 before moving into the state league ranks.

His younger brothers Luke and Aaron play for Spirit's Reserve grade side this season.

And as for his house: "It's virtually all finished, just have to put a kitchen in," Christensen said.



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