EXCLUSIVE: Scott Chipperfield’s teenage son Liam this week followed his famous father into the red and blue of Swiss giants FC Basel - but whether he ever follows him into the green and gold of Australia is another matter entirely.
Already well established with Switzerland at junior level, the 17-year-old central midfielder - who made a late cameo in the 3-3 draw with FC Sion - right now only has eyes for the country of his birth and upbringing.
Swiss bliss for son of a gun
- Socceroos great Scott Chipperfield's son Liam has broken through at FC Basel - the Swiss club for whom his father starred for over 11 years.
- The teenage midfielder is on Australia's radar but hinted strongly he's likely to opt for Switzerland, who he has already represented at junior level.
- Liam grew up watching his dad play for Basel - now he's out to make his own mark with his boyhood club.
More news on Aussies Abroad can be found on FTBL.
Though the gifted youngster professes a fondness for the land of his dad, it’s a country he’s only ever visited fleetingly for Christmas holidays … his last trip coming seven years ago.
The first offspring of Australia’s so-called ‘golden generation’ to crack a professional debut, Liam remains in awe in the deeds of his dad, who won seven league titles and six Swiss cups in 11 years, clocking up plenty of UEFA Champions League and Europa League along the way.
Chipperfield senior also picked up 63 Socceroos caps and appeared at two World Cups.
However, Liam's path ahead looks red.
“At the moment I’m playing for Switzerland and I don’t think so (regarding the prospect playing for Australia). But you never know what can happen in the future,” he told FTBL.
“Both Switzerland and Australia are in my heart - I love both countries. Of course I grew up here and I’ve played for Switzerland (across several age groups).
“It’s not a ‘no’ to Australia but let’s wait and see.”
Scott - who has lived back in Australia for the past two years - offers advice to his son, a fellow leftie, without trying to cajole him in any set direction over his national team, or career choices.
“My dad is a legend here at Basel,” added Liam. “A very big player for a lot of years and people here still remember and talk about him.
“He was my inspiration to play - but he never said ‘you have to do this, you have to do that’.
“He just let me play and have fun but if you have such a dad you are always going to look up to him.”
Chipperfield reckons his son at 17 is more talented than he was at the same age.
“I never saw him play but if he says that it’s maybe like that,” continued Liam. "I’m far away from following in my father’s footsteps - but I’m so happy to have made my first game for Basel.
“We have a similar left foot, but he’s scored more headers than me - and right now a lot more goals for FC Basel.
“I’m normally a central midfielder but I can also play on the right. He was more a fighter (playing at left back) than me and maybe I’m more of a technical player. But I think I’m also quick, just like he was.
“My dream since I was a child was to make it as a player with my boyhood club. I want to play as many games as possible here. The club have supported me so much.”
Stepping out for his Swiss Super League debut was a defining moment many years in the making.
“Coming on was a big moment for me because I spent so many years growing up watching my dad play in this stadium and hearing the fans sing his name,” explained Liam.
“Of course you want to have the fans do this for you one day.
“My dad and I talk a lot through Skype. I always listen to any advice he has because he’s done so much in his career.
“He’s sometimes critical but that helps me because he knows how to motivate me.
“He watches all the games online. I’m training with the first team now and always try to work hard and do my best, and show the coach I’m ready.
“It’s a big jump to the first team but the players have really looked after me … some of them played with my dad and they look out for me.”
More Socceroos news can be found on their website.