Jesse Daley is excited to be playing under Central Coast Mariners legend John Hutchinson in his new journey with Seattle Sounders 2.
Daley is determined to make his opportunity in the United States count and he’s relieved he has broken into a full-time environment after stints with South Melbourne and Queensland Lions.
The 20-year-old had a two-week trial with Sounders 2 in early March and he proved to be good enough for the reserves.
And now Daley has featured in one USL game so far for Sounders 2, playing 24 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Portland Timbers 2.
The Queenslander is now living with his teammates in a Seattle apartment.
“I think having an Australian coach over here has made the transition pretty smooth,” Daley told FourFourTwo.
“Hutch has been awesome, so in that regard, I can’t say it’s been a massive change.
“He’s a good coach, he has a lot of experience and he's a very knowledgeable guy when it comes to football.
“I was hopeful for an opportunity in the first six months of the year, but I didn’t know if that would be in Australia or Europe, but it’s ended up being in America.
“I was playing it by ear, I didn’t have anything in concrete or real set plans. It did come out of the blue a little bit, but it’s an awesome opportunity and one I want to take with both hands.
“I think the American game is a bit different. There’s a lot of transition, but I’m loving being back in a full-time environment.
“I do reflect on the journey, the longer you spend out of a full-time environment, probably the more questions you ask. You just try and improve all the time, you try not to waste a training session or game. You’ll end up in a good space if that’s your mentality.”
Daley had opportunities with Perth Glory in 2017, but to no avail.
The 20-year-old also said there were enough good players in Australia, but they just needed that chance to prove they were good enough for professional level.
“I’m of strong belief that Australia definitely needs a second professional division and I also think there are a lot of good players in the NPL, especially in Victoria,” he said.
“I think the main difference I’ve found in Seattle now is the professionalism and the day-to-day work because it’s full-time. Being able to go into the club and just worry about football is massive.
“The atmosphere at MLS games are incredible. I’ve been to six or seven games now and the quality is high, the game is different and more physical.
“Sport science is big, but I believe in Australian players and there are lot who are good enough to be playing professionally overseas.”
Daley was also hopeful the opportunity in the US would lead to prospects of playing for the first-team and even the Socceroos.
He added: “You always dream of playing for your country since you were a little kid. Hopefully it’s a springboard for me for bigger and better things.”