BEFORE securing a professional contract with Portugal’s Uniao de Madeira in July last season, Max Burgess was without doubt the form player of the National Premier Leagues NSW men’s competition.
The attacking midfielder was scoring goals for fun and providing assists most weeks as Sydney Olympic FC charged to a top five finish.
Playing professionally abroad was always the dream, so after agreeing to terms, Burgess packed his bags and prepared for his next life adventure.
Football doesn’t always go according to plan, so when the former Newcastle Jets utility decided to return to Australia, Olympic was always going to be his destination.
“I never entertained the thought of playing for someone else,” Burgess told Football NSW.
“I rate the coaching staff very highly as well as the vision and vibe at the club.
“Having my brother (Darcy) at Olympic is great, as kids we always dreamed about playing first grade together somewhere.
“We have recruited well, I’m very confident we will hold our own this season.”
Burgess is equally talented away from the pitch, studying a degree in political economics and social sciences at Sydney University.
“It is a mouthful to say, and the content is equally as tough,” he said with a laugh.
“I’m in my first year, hopefully I can finish this course, it just depends what happens with football I guess.”
Burgess is tipping crafty midfielder Hagi Gligor to be a standout at Belmore Oval this year as well as evergreen goalkeeper Paul Henderson.
“I’ve always rated Hagi and Hendo, he offers so much experience,” he said.
“Riley Woodcock has also slotted in well, he is a quality player and Will Angel offers that x-factor we need.
“Every team will have their strengths, there is a real air of anticipation with the season just a few weeks away.”
Sydney Olympic FC host Bonnyrigg in a juicy first up encounter on Sunday, March 11 from 3pm.
-By Andrew Prentice