Aussies Abroad: Cisak's dreams come true

Every footballer dreams of playing at Anfield as a youngster but the reality is only a handful are lucky enough.

Every footballer dreams of playing at Anfield as a youngster but the reality is only a handful are lucky enough.

Tasmanian goalkeeper Alex Cisak struck gold when his Oldham Athletic side were drawn to face Liverpool in the third round of the 2012 FA Cup.

And although Cisak conceded five goals on Friday as Kenny Dalglish's side came from behind to record a comfortable victory, the Australian was far from disgraced as he made a string of saves to deny further embarrassment for the League One side.

The 5-1 scoreline was harsh on Oldham and Cisak, who conceded three times in the last 22 minutes as they chased an unlikely result.

But Cisak - who has represented Australia at under-20 level - was still positive about his Anfield experience despite the heavy defeat.

"It was an amazing feeling just walking out through the tunnel and seeing the Kop (Liverpool home end) with all the flags and singing 'You'll never walk alone'," Cisak said.

"They are some of the things you want to experience as a kid and I'm happy I experienced it. It's one thing I'll never forget."

"I think I played well personally and made some good saves. I think the scoreline wasn't really a true reflection of how we did. It's a bit disappointing but I wouldn't say we disgraced ourselves and we made all the fans of the football club proud." 2011 was a breakout year for the Polish-born shot-stopper as his search of first-team football saw him end up at League Two outfit Accrington Stanley.

Prior to that, Cisak spent six years in the youth and reserve teams at Leicester City and showed enough for Accrington to take him on.

An impressive season in which he won the Fans League Two Player of the Month Award in March and made 25 appearances led to his switch to Oldham, a club who he has played for in every match this season.

"That (first-team football) is the thing I wanted," he said.

"At the end of last season my goal was to move on from Accrington Stanley and to find a club I would be number one at. That's what you want to be playing football for. I've played all the games I could have played in and I've had to work hard for that."

Oldham currently sit 15th on the League One table but they are just three points from ninth in a congested division.

And Cisak has no doubts they will rise up the league under the tutelage of manager Paul Dickov, who is 'loved by everyone' according to the goalkeeper.

His praise of the coaching staff did not end there, as he offered special praise to former Oldham, Everton and Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Paul Gerrard, who has been brought to the club to coach and tutor the former Hobart resident.

Cisak is not the only Aussie who featured against Liverpool, with former Leicester City and Peterborough midfielder James Wesolowski starting, while goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis was forced to watch on from the substitutes bench.

"Me and Jamie knew each other from Leicester so we've been quite close and we spend a lot of time together outside of football too. I was new (to Oldham) and didn't know the players as I hadn't previously played with any and you could say the same for him as well. (Having James here) has made it easy for both of us to adjust to our football as well."

Bouzanis did not arrive until November and due to Cisak's impressive form, the former Liverpool 'keeper has not got a look in.

"It's mine (the number one spot) to lose really. Obviously he is trying to get that spot from me but as long as I keep playing well, I will be playing."

Cisak admitted his decision to represent Australia at youth team level ahead of Poland - the country he was born in and the origin of most of his family - was 'very tough' but after spending more than 10 years in the country, says he feels Australian.

His dream is to represent the Socceroos one day and he feels that his best chance of doing so would be representing his country at the 2012 London Olympics, if Aurelio Vidmar's side qualifies.

Cisak's desire to represent his country again is obvious and infectious, but he is keen to keep playing in England instead of returning home to Australia to achieve that goal, with the 22-year-old revealing he is happy with his decision to sign for Oldham instead of Hyundai A-League heavyweights Melbourne Victory just months ago.

"I was very close to joining Melbourne Victory. You could say I was a day away. Oldham couldn't really afford the money (to buy me) but they ended up selling a player."

"The A-League is developing very fast and it would be good to be playing there but everyone dreams to play football in England. It was one of those very hard decisions I had. The whole club and the staff (at Victory) were amazing."

"That would have been a good experience but I'm very happy with how it has all turned out. That's life, you have got to take risks and hopefully this one pays off."

For now, Cisak is reaping the rewards of his risk as he continues to live his dream and play every week in England.

And given his impressive form of late, 2012 has the potential to be his best year yet.