Why Ipswich football can benefit from 'Down Under' vision
NEWLY-appointed Ipswich Knights technical director Jason Buchanan is excited about being a world away from home developing regional football.
The former Scottish youth team international player is fulfilling an Aussie dream.
Receiving an opportunity to oversee the whole Knights Football Queensland Premier League men's and women's senior and junior program came out of the blue. However, Buchanan is delighted to be back working with a professional club after various coaching stints on the Gold Coast.
"Last year going back to community league on the Gold Coast I enjoyed it but for me, it wasn't challenging enough,'' Buchanan said.
"It wasn't at that professional stage, that environment I enjoy working at.''
Buchanan, 46, sees the Knights as a premier league club with future higher state league prospects.
Among the people Buchanan has worked with is former Socceroo and current business partner Craig Moore.
Buchanan had a productive assistant coaching stint alongside Moore at Coomera FC on the Gold Coast, boosting his desire to do more higher level coaching in Queensland.
"I learnt more in that year than I had in all my years of coaching,'' Buchanan said.
"Craig is just so knowledgeable and so passionate.
"We became best friends and business partners after that.''
Buchanan and Moore run a Soccer Genius Australia program comprising five football drills using technology that allows the speed and accuracy of players to be measured and compared.
Having gained his UEFA B Licence, Buchanan was given the go-ahead to introduce the program at the Knights.
During his time on the Gold Coast, the Livingstone born and bred Scot became a technical director and a development officer. He was also associated with the Brisbane Roar Academy.
However, the former full-time Dundee United and Hibernian footballer is keen to pursue his coaching at the Knights having played 33 internationals for Scottish youth teams (under-15 to U18) in the 1980s.
"I've always been involved in coaching but not really a serious level, just for the younger ones,'' he said.
After coming to Australia five and a half years ago, he started coaching juniors at Coomera before receiving a Reserve Grade role, opening up other Gold Coast opportunities.
Having coached in the National Premier Leagues competition with Gold Coast City, he sees the Knights as able to build a terrific platform to become a future state league club.
"That was one of the attractions - the club has a five-year plan,'' the former winger/striker turned right back said.
"There's no rush. We want to do it properly and we want to create an environment where the kids and coaches want to come.
"If we do and we continue improving and growing then I'm sure we'll reach that five-year plan.''
Buchanan married his wife Angela in 2007. They have children Sophie, Jordan and Jay.
Rating time with his family as his main way to relax, Buchanan shares his amazing story why and how he came to Queensland, having spent most of his life in Scotland.
"There was a very well known TV program back in the UK called Wanted Down Under and it brings families that are considering moving to Australia,'' he said.
"We applied to go on that (lifestyle) show.
"The year we applied, I think there was 20,000 applicants and we were one of 10 that got picked.
"The BBC flew us over and within a couple of days my wife and family were convinced that we wanted to come to Australia.
"It was unreal.''
Now living on the Gold Coast and travelling regularly to Ipswich, Buchanan is keen to secure permanent residency and extend his new life "Down Under''.