Days out from the Mariners first up clash against the Jets, dynamic midfielder Josh Nisbet is hoping to use promising performances at the back end of last season to springboard a breakout campaign in 2020/21.
Nisbet made just one appearance against Western United early in the 19/20 season, but became a focal point of Alen Stajcic’s midfield late in the season and impressed in the post-COVID restart period particularly.
The 21-year-old inked a new senior deal in March that keeps him on the Coast through the next two seasons and is ready and raring to go for the season opener.
“This year I want to do the best I can, last season it took me a while to get started and by the end of it I was doing well so I want to make sure I’m playing well from the start and can then maintain that,” he said this week.
“Everyone is excited for New Year’s Eve, especially because it’s a derby. Everyone wants to get the win against the Jets, and although it’s been a long pre-season this period always gets you going for the first game.”
As a member of the young brigade at the Mariners Nisbet has seen plenty of his youth level teammates now come into the squad and be rewarded for stellar form, but also has been aided by the arrival of Oliver Bozanic to the club.
“It’s good [to see those guys],” Nisbet said.
It’s good to promote the youth, and it’s even better when some of them are your mates, you know that they can do it and you just need to wait until they have the opportunity for it.”
“Ollie has great experience, especially on the field. But he’s also just a really good bloke, he makes it easy to talk about things and makes it a lot easier on the pitch for me too.”
For Nisbet some of his motivation comes from proving others wrong, having fought hard throughout his young career to convince many that his height doesn’t matter.
“When I was very young, there were the people that loved you or thought nothing of you,” he said.
“And there were a lot more people that thought nothing of me.”
“I’ve got a couple of people I know who supported me the whole time and still back me, and it’s good to, not necessarily prove the doubters wrong, but show them that I knew I was right the whole time.”