Thanks to Soccer World, Queensland’s leading boutique football retailer specialising in a wide range of boots, indoor futsal shoes and turf shoes, we catch up with a player who has been a fixture for his club for a while now. Enjoying the warm tropical climbs of Townsville after moving from his native New Zealand, learn more about Michael ‘Kiwi’ Eisenhut.
QSN: How were you introduced to the game and what was your first junior club?
ME: My older brother was also a football player and I wanted to follow in his steps so when I was 4 ½, I played my first season of football for Clendon United. My first ever coach was from Liverpool and at the end of the season he gave me a pair of Mitre shin pads with the Liverpool emblem on them which I had up until a couple of years ago. It was this that pushed me to supporting Liverpool in the Premier league.
QSN: Tell us about your football playing history.
ME: I have always been an attacking player, playing for a number of clubs in my junior days in Auckland. I moved to Dunedin for university and began playing for Dunedin Technicial and Otago United in the New Zealand National League. I was played in a wide attacking role gradually making my way more central into an attacking midfielder role the older I got. After making the move to Townsville I started to play as a striker and have remained in the attacking line for the teams I have played with.
QSN: What opportunities has football given you?
ME: It has allowed me to travel to different parts of the world and play with some great players along the way, including an ex-Chelsea premier league defender.
QSN: What are your greatest individual and team moments in football?
ME: I was selected to play in a “twin cities” tournament for a team from Auckland in China against a Korean rep side, Guangzhou Everglade senior side and Bristol City Rovers which provided a fantastic insight into a professional football environment.
QSN: You continue to shine a light for the Fury, what are your personal goals for 2016?
ME: My goals for the season would be, as a striker, to have a goal-a-game average come the end of the season. As an attacking midfielder I would want to have an average of one or two assists a game whilst scoring around eight to ten goals in the season.
QSN: What are your longer terms aspirations?
ME: I’m coming towards the end of my football career so my aspirations would be to finish the game playing at the highest level possible and representing Townsville as best as possible.
QSN: Who is the best player you have played with or against in your career?
ME: Lutz Pfannenstiel (played with)– Goal Keeper. I believe he is the only player to play professionally on all continents around the world. But also against other players like the current A-League’s Kosta Barbarouses and Ben Sigmund.
QSN: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
ME: I always put my left shin pad on first.
QSN: What was your most embarrassing moment on the football pitch?
ME: I can’t think of an individual moment that sticks out however any time I’m a part of a losing team that lose as a result of playing terrible football is rather embarrassing.
QSN: Time for 5 rapid fire questions! Your favourite drink, music, food, football idol and which football club do you support?
ME: Coke Zero, all kinds of music, Chicken, Steven Gerrard, Liverpool
QSN: Who was you most influential coach or main football influence and why?
ME: This is a hard question because I have had so many coaches who were there at the right time for my development, including my dad who was a large part of that.
I’d have to identify Johan Kustaal who was my coach at Dunedin Technical and Otago United. He gave me the opportunity to play in the national league and really gave me the freedom to play with a lot confidence in going forward. Another coach after Johan was Terry Parle who I felt really helped me to mature on the pitch and understand the game at a different level.
QSN: What do you do with yourself away from the football pitch?
ME: I work as recruitment consultant. Outside of that I spend most of my time with my lovely wife and my 2 dogs, enjoying everything Townsville has to offer.
QSN: If you weren’t a footballer, what other sport would you play?
ME: Either league or Rugby in the halves. Although I was asked to be a Jockey when I was younger. Must have been something to do with my height haha.
Thanks for your time Michael and best wishes for the season ahead.
The Northern Fury will be looking to turn their luck around, unable to notch a win so far this year. It will be a tough task though as they welcome Gold Coast City to the Townsville Sports Reserve on Saturday evening. Kickoff is at 7pm.
Name: Michael Eisenhut
Nationality : New Zealand
Age : 32
Nicknames : Kiwi, Mick
Height : 165cm
Preferred Position/s: Attacking Midfielder, Striker, Winger
Career Highlights: Playing against Guangzhou Everglade in front of very large and vocal local crowd.