The former Manchester City player also revealed that talks are ongoing between him and Melbourne for a possible extension.
As India gears up for its first ever international pre-season tournament, starting from 24 July between Kerala Blasters and Melbourne City, many feel that this could be a game-changer for the country in the arena. The tournament boasts of Australian A-League side Melbourne City as well as La Liga outfit Girona FC along with Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters, something that has never been experienced in the country.
Amidst all the preparations, Khel Now got into a conversation with Melbourne City midfielder Luke Brattan and the man sounded smitten by Kochi at first look. “Beautiful city, beautiful country, great training facilities and friendly people. I’ve enjoyed my stay here,” he started.
Watch: Brattan had had a successful time in the A-League
Brattan scored a brilliant goal for Brisbane Roar early in his career and that won his club a title against Melbourne City. Discussing that, Brattan said, “It doesn’t happen very often, given that I’m a defensive midfielder. But, this goal was really good. Late into the game against Melbourne, it gave us the Championship. It really came good.”
Brattan left Brisbane after seven years in 2015, with superannuation being the primary reason. Speaking on the events he made his stance clear. “I was happy at Brisbane, my family’s there, but it went to a stage that I had to wait for my pay to come in every month and I had to leave. Manchester City came calling, and it was an easy decision to make.”
The 28-year-old’s City career did not really take off and he was immediately sent on loan to Bolton Wanderers directly. Three months later and Brattan went into a mode of club hunting. “It was a bad phase. I was looking for loans, trials and did not play enough football. But, being away from family and friends, the phase made me a better person.”
Brattan found solace in Melbourne, featuring regularly for the team in the first season. Kept out of the XI by Bengaluru FC’s Erik Paartalu for three campaign, he finally got a chance and made the position his own. “It was a good feeling. Melbourne, big club, set of great players, best in Australia. It felt good getting back on the pitch and playing regularly.”
The second season saw Brattan miss several matches due to injury and selection changes. Now that he’s back to full fitness, we asked him about his future plans, and whether he’s looking to sign a permanent deal with Melbourne.
Brattan answered in the affirmative, but inserted a clause as well. “Well, I can tell you that talks are ongoing, but not beyond that. I’m at a stage in my career where I’d like to go overseas. Europe, Asia, India, maybe. I would like to give myself a chance. Even if I stay at Melbourne City, that would be great.”
Talking about the tournament, Brattan sounded positive. “Kerala Blasters are a premium club, brilliant fans. Most players in the side have not played in front of more than 10,000 supporters and this is going to be a learning curve for them. Girona FC, too, are a massive club. It’s a good honour and test to play them.”
One on One with Luke Brattan
The former Manchester City player also opened up about his side’s manager Warren Joyce as he said, “He’s very demanding, which is good. We train extremely hard, run a lot, are physically and mentally very hard and hopefully, we’ll see results. He’s had a great career as a player and coach, and I look forward to the time under him.”
“I’ve had a conversation with Erik,” added Brattan, talking about Paartalu. “We played together at Brisbane, and I messaged him. He’s loved his time in India and he told me what to expect weather-wise and quality-wise.”
“I haven’t really watched them a lot,” Brattan said about Girona, “But I’m sure they’re a great side. They’ve got great players and I’m looking forward to the game. We’ve also seen Kerala (Blasters) play and they’ve got some real good talents.”
Brattan also called out the Yellow Army to come out and enjoy the games.
Melbourne City FC play Kerala Blasters in the opening game on 24th July at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi.