Soccer World ‘Off The Pitch’ – Jason Shade (Mitchelton)

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This week, we catch up with a player who dabbled with a stint down in Victoria but has seen the light and moved back to the Sunshine State. Get to know a little more about Mitchelton’s Jason Shade.

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Jason Shade (left)

QSN: How were you introduced to the game and what was your first junior club?

JS: My first club was Mareeba Bulls in Far North Queensland. I started playing mainly because my uncle played and I enjoyed kicking the football with him. It quickly transpired into something serious with the rest of my family playing as well.

QSN: Tell us about your football playing history.

JS: After Mareeba, I moved to Stratford Dolphins, also in the Cairns area for the start of my youth years. I then moved back to Mareeba Bulls to get my first start in premier grade football at the age of 15/16. I also played in the state league for the FNQ Bulls who were based in Mareeba.

I then went through the Queensland football system playing for FNQ and Queensland as well as the Queensland Academy of Sport and also had representative honours in schoolboy football.

At 17, I decided to make a move to England to pursue some other avenues in the English Conference League and Norwegian First Division. I took up an offer with Sheffield United in their academy and reserves squad.

After turning 18, visa issues forced me to leave Sheffield and move to Brisbane for a Queensland Roar opportunity. Unfortunately, I got unlucky and suffered an ACL injury during preseason while I was at the Brisbane Strikers which resulted in a full knee reconstruction and I was out of action for twelve months.

After rehabilitation, I returned to the Strikers under Stuart McLaren and David Large.

Then I had a two year layoff due to injury and came back again to the Strikers in 2014.
In 2015, I moved to Bendigo City in Victoria’s NPL and now I’m at Mitchelton for 2016.

QSN: Certainly a full dance card there. What opportunities has football given you?

JS: I think the biggest opportunity football has given me is to meet people. I have life-long mates and have learnt some valuable lessons along the way. It can open so many different avenues not just playing football but in every day life. Then there’s the obvious ones like traveling and playing with and against different professional clubs.

QSN: What have been your greatest individual and team moments?

JS: It’s hard to put a finger on one thing but winning premierships with a club is always great. Individually, playing against other English youth teams like Manchester United.

QSN: You have returned from the Victorian Leagues this season. What was the main reason for your return to Mitchelton FC in the Brisbane Premier League (BPL) and what makes Mitchelton a good fit for you?

JS: I moved back to Brisbane for other reasons besides football. I think BPL appealed to me mostly because I don’t want the travel involved with NPL. Mitchie was an easy choice as I have good mates that have played for this club and know a few of the boys myself. Knowing Leo (coach Leo Sirianni) for a few years helped the decision-making process knowing how he wants to conduct his team and provide a great atmosphere around the club.

The club itself is obviously proven to be a great support network with its juniors and the way it’s set up. It follows through to the seniors and we all have a great time training, playing and socialising.

QSN: What are your longer terms aspirations?

JS: I don’t have any long term aspirations with football really. If I can just play well and do a job for Mitchelton, maybe some silverware and have some fun along the way I’ll be happy.

QSN: Who is the best player you have played with or against in your career?

JS: There’s definitely more than one but probably playing with Kyle Walker who is now at Tottenham Hotspurs.

QSN: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?

JS: I use to be a bit weird with my laces and juggling the ball but not so much now. I just love to have a good breakfast and a coffee game day.

QSN: Your most embarrassing moment on the football pitch was?

JS: I’ve had my shorts ripped clean off before but a megs (nutmeg) always takes the cake.

QSN: Time for 5 rapid fire questions! Your favourite drink, music, food, football idol and which football club do you support?

JS: Espresso martini, Indie / alternative, pizza, no idol and Liverpool

QSN: Who was you most influential coach or someone who has had an influence on your football and why?

JS: I’ve had a lot of great coaches but my parents and grandparents have been there for me through my football highs and lows. They are always supportive and have given up their time and money to help me work hard for what I wanted to try and achieve.

QSN: What do you do with yourself away from the football pitch?

JS: Hanging out with mates attending music events, living at the beach and enjoying copious amounts of food.

QSN: If you weren’t a footballer, what other sport would you play?

JS: Rugby League or AFL

Thanks Jason for sharing your insights in this edition of Soccer World’s Off The Pitch. Mitchelton open their 2016 Brisbane Premier League campaign on Saturday night where they’ll face a tough test against new boys Holland Park Hawks who made the Silver Boot semis. Kickoff is 6:15pm at Whites Hill Reserve.

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