Header photo by Jaime Castaneda (@jamcas50)
For Sydney FC defender Jacob Tratt, Saturday’s Hyundai A-League debut at ANZ Stadium was a long time in the making.
Coming through the ranks of Sydney FC’s youth side, Tratt departed the Sky Blues in 2016 in search of first team football, before returning this season under his former Youth Head Coach, and current Sky Blues’ boss Steve Corica.
His impact, immediate. Coming on as a second half substitute, Tratt made his presence known straight away, before sealing his first appearance with a goal to remember, and one he says saw him overcome with jubilation.
“I was at Sydney a few years ago and wasn’t lucky enough to get the opportunity, I had a bit of time away from football to develop mentally and physically and I’m lucky enough to be back at my hometown club,” Tratt said.
“I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to play in the Derby at the weekend, get the goal as well, so I couldn’t be happier.
“I was buzzing when it hit the net,” he continued.
“There’s actually a photo of me and the boys and you can just see how happy I am in my face. I was pretty happy with the goal.
“I just told Branners [Brandon O’Neill] to float it to the back post, he put on a perfect ball and I was lucky enough to get my head to it.”
Initially looking likely to come on after Jop van der Linden departed with injury in the first half, Corica opted instead for a midfield shift with Paulo Retre coming on, however this omission only spurred Tratt on when his chance arose after Aaron Calver cramped up.
“My dream is to play for Sydney FC and I felt like my opportunity had escaped me,” Tratt said.
“I was naturally gutted, but I was lucky enough to get the second opportunity and make the most of it as well.
“I think I’m pretty well motivated in myself, I felt confident in my ability that if I was asked to play I was ready. When the opportunity came I felt 100% ready to go on and I was very grateful for get the call up.
“It felt really good getting on the field, I felt very comfortable,” he continued.
“Getting to play in the Derby and winning is such a good feeling, and being amongst the boys training with them week in week out, it was just a pleasure to play alongside all of them.
“I’m busting myself to get into the starting XI, that’s the goal now.
“I’ve got to try and re-sign for the rest of the season and take it from there. For me I would really love another opportunity to represent Sydney FC and show them what I can do.”
Sydney FC return to Hyundai A-League action on Friday night away against Perth Glory (kick off 9pm AEDT). #WatchWithUs LIVE on Fox Sports 505 & the My Football Live App or follow us on Twitter for updates.