Melbourne City coach Patrick Kisnorbo has delighted in Connor Metcalfe's A-League rise which will see the academy graduate playing for German club St Pauli next season.
Patrick Kisnorbo has delighted in Connor Metcalfe's impending transfer from the A-League to St Pauli but says the hard work is only just beginning for the talented young Melbourne City midfielder.
CONNOR METCALFE SIGNING
- Melbourne City's Connor Metcalfe has agreed to sign with FC St. Pauli.
- The Socceroo will join the German club at the conclusion of this A-League season.
- The 2.Bundesliga side is currently first in the ladder.
More news on Aussies Abroad can be found on FTBL.
Metcalfe will head to the 2.Bundesliga club, who are currently pushing for promotion to Germany's top division, on a three-year deal at the end of the current A-League Men season, joining fellow Socceroo Jackson Irvine.
The 22-year-old has been with City since joining as an academy player at 15, enjoying a rise through the club's ranks to become a key senior player.
"We can help him and we can push him but end of the day, it's up to the individual player. So I'm delighted for him," Kisnorbo said after City's win over Newcastle.
"He gave himself the opportunity to maybe one day fulfil a dream and he's done that.
"It's great to be part of that journey. Where that journey will take him, I don't know but it's great to see someone from our academy come through the ranks and get that chance
"It's a good story because not everyone can go overseas. People these days think it's easy but look what Connor's had to go through just to get a chance and he's not even guaranteed next year to play.
"But he's given himself that opportunity to play, hopefully in the Bundesliga. It's great, hopefully it's part of a big journey for him."
Kisnorbo noted Metcalfe's time at City "hasn't all been rosy", including a stint under predecessor Erick Mombaerts where he didn't get game-time late in 2019-20.
A big pre-season saw goalscoring midfielder Metcalfe kick on last season to play a key role in City's premiership-championship double.
Kisnorbo said, tongue-in-cheek, that he expected Metcalfe to let him know what a hard taskmaster he'd been as his coach.
But the former Leeds and Leicester City defender expects that being pushed at City will help Metcalfe deal with cut-throat European football.
"You need to push them because once you go overseas, it's 10 times harder. There's more players, there's probably better players, you're in a tougher league," Kisnorbo said.
"One game could be the start of you or the end of you.
"People don't understand about Australians but we live 24 hours away. Football's not our No.1 sport, so he has to work twice as hard just to get the opportunity.
"So it's great that he's been rewarded thus far but he needs to continue to work."
The full 2. Bundesliga schedule can be found using this link.