How a return to childhood ties helped re-ignite James Jeggo's Caltex Socceroos dream

A move away from Australia may yet prove to be the decisive spark that helped James Jeggo realise his Caltex Socceroos dream.

The 26-year-old Austria-based midfielder is back in the country and may make his first Australia appearance in this Saturday night’s friendly with Korea Republic.

It comes nearly three years after the Vienna-born prospect left Australian shores to reconnect with his country of birth.

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“I was born there [in Austria] and lived for the first 10 years of my life there,” Jeggo said.

“It was funny the way it came about. It wasn’t a thing of ‘well, I want to go to Austria’… the aim was to make a move to Europe and that was a good step for myself.

“Austria was a good stepping stone as a league and I’ve absolutely loved it over there.

“Having a little bit of a grasp of the language and things like that has definitely helped and I’ve been there almost three years now and [I’m] really enjoying it.”

Speaking at Suncorp Stadium to help launch to NAB Young Footballer of the Year award, Jeggo aims to return to the Brisbane arena on Saturday night to make his debut for Australia.

Jeggo won the 2014/15 edition of the award with Adelaide United, and hailed that as the boost to his confidence he needed in order to follow the overseas path many other young Australians have pursued to help develop their careers.

“When you’re at that age playing in the [Hyundai] A-League in Australia and obviously you are aware of the previous winners, and you follow boys that move on from the [Hyundai] A-League and how they do at the time… that was definitely my goal.

“Winning that award gives you the sort of confidence boost that potentially you could go on and do the same thing. 

“Being named the best young player in the league is definitely a feather in your cap and definitely helps players which is a massive thing for young Australian footballers.”

The Caltex Socceroos’ match against Korea Republic is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing.