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Irvine: "I'm growing as a player and as a person"

Jackson Irvine put in a really strong performance in the 4-2 victory at Heidenheim, playing his part in securing a fourth win in succession for the Boys in Brown. On Tuesday, the Australian midfielder took time out to talk to the media.

...his first few months in Hamburg: "I've adapted well to life in the city. It's very much my kind of place, especially around where I live. There's lots to do, there's always good music, a good art scene, good food and friendly people. It's a nice community to be a part of. On matchdays I get the train to the game and after I usually walk back. It only takes me 15 minutes. One thing I love about St. Pauli is to be able to leave the stadium and just walk through and the people say hello and give you the thumbs up.

...the progress over the last few weeks: "It was the worst possible start for me when I picked up a little injury in my first week here. It's not an ideal situation when you come to a new club, but the club was fantastic and supportive in getting me back to full fitness. It helped to go away with the national team and get some minutes in the first international break in September. Ever since I came back from that trip, I've felt like I'm just going stronger and stronger. A lot of my game is built on my physicality, so obviously it's taken a bit of time to get to where I want to be, but I feel that I'm playing some of my best football now. There's always more to come, though. The way I've approached my career is that there's always more to learn, always more to improve. And since coming to Germany I've already learned so much tactically. I feel like I've improved so much off the field in terms of my football knowledge. I feel I'm growing as a player and as a person. I'm always looking to push myself further and there's definitely more room for that kind of growth in the future."

...the current success on the pitch and possible targets: "I think what has brought us success so far this season has been how singular our focus has been on the upcoming games and the way we approach every game with the preparation we do through the staff and ourselves as players. Of course it's nice when people talk about the potential there is and the possible rewards at the end of the season. But for us, the next game and the next three points – and I know it's a bit of a football cliché – is the way we approach every week. Today, we did a bit of analysis on how we can improve but the Heidenheim game has gone now, and we move on and keep pushing forward. When you have this kind of focus every week, that's when you bring long-term success to a team."

Jackson Irvine, here under challenge from Dženis Burnić, was outstanding in the 4-2 win at Heidenheim.

Jackson Irvine, here under challenge from Dženis Burnić, was outstanding in the 4-2 win at Heidenheim.

...his use of public transport: "I get the train or the bus to the Kollau every day. I love the public transport system in Germany, it's much more efficient to what I'm used to in the UK, so I don't mind getting the bus or the train. I don't have a car yet, though I'll probably have to get one at some point."

...his family and missing Australia: "I've been away from Australia for something like eleven years now, so I'm used to not being there. It's been difficult the last couple of years, in particular, because of Corona. Melbourne, where I'm from, had the world's longest lockdown, so it's been very tough. It's probably the longest I've gone without seeing my family. It's been 18 months now. That's the hard part, and them not seeing you, because normally they would have come here once a year or so. My family would absolutely love the atmosphere at the Millerntor. I can't wait for them to come here. They're having a tough time because it's hard to access the games in Australia as well, so they're desperate to come over and see some football live. My dad especially will be absolutely loving it when he can come to the Millerntor. Hopefully, they'll be able to come to a game around December time."

...scoring his first goal for FC St. Pauli: "I'm still having nightmares about that header at Karlsruhe and hopefully the first goal will come soon, but at the moment we're free-scoring, and every week I feel we're creating so many chances and playing such exciting attacking football. Of course, I'd love to score and be more involved at the top end of the pitch, but when the team are scoring freely and winning football matches, it's hard to think about anything else and I've always been more focused on that than on my own side of things. When the first goal does come, though, I think it will be special and you'll probably see how silly my goal celebrations are!"

 

Photos: FC St. Pauli/Witters

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