Rejected by Brisbane Roar, defender Joshua Grommen has bounced back and is building a successful career in Asia.
Last month Grommen joined Thai Premier League club Sukhothai FC. Yesterday the 23-year-old made his debut for the Thai outfit, helping them to a 3-1 win over PTT Rayong.
Born and raised in Brisbane to Dutch and Filipino parents, Grommen came through the Queensland Academy of Sport and Brisbane Roar’s National Youth League team.
But unable to break into the A-League with his hometown club, the centre back has set his sights on making it in Asia.
Grommen has had several spells over the past four years with clubs in the Philippines Football League in Loyola, Stallion Laguna, Ceres-Negros and Davao Aguilas.
"There are only three clubs that are at a high standard, especially Ceres-Negros," he explained to FTBL.
"When I played with them in the 2017 season we won the AFC Cup zonal championship beating big teams like JDT of Malaysia and Home United of Singapore."
Only 18 when he first played in the Philippines, Grommen gained valuable first-team experience.
After impressing in the island nation, Grommen earned a move to Malaysian Super League club Petaling Jaya City earlier this year.
The Aussie stopper thrived with PJCFC and it was through another Australian, Iain Ramsey, that he has now ended up in Thailand.
"My former teammate Iain Ramsey who played in the A-League for Sydney FC, Adelaide United and Melbourne City, had spoke to me asking if I was a free agent and at the time I was,” he said.
"Sukhothai FC where looking for a central defender and the timing was just right. I signed within a week and now we are teammates again."
Grommen has already represented the Philippines at Under-22 and Under-23 level several times, and is eyeing the chance to possibly follow in Ramsay’s footsteps and represent the Azkals.
"Since opportunities back home are limited and I didn’t get looked at in the A-League, so I set my goals on making it in Asia and a big part of that was to represent the Philippines men’s national team,” he said.
"But now seeing all these players playing in leagues all over Asia getting called up for Australia, who knows?
"If I keep doing well an opportunity might open up for me to represent my country of birth which would be an amazing achievement for anyone."