Reid is living the dream

When Paul Reid returned after seven years of playing in the lower leagues of England with the ambition of making the Australian team, never in his wildest dreams did he think it would come this quickly.

When Paul Reid returned after seven years of playing in the lower leagues of England with the ambition of making the Australian team, never in his wildest dreams did he think it would come this quickly.

And while he still hasn-t achieved that goal just yet, he is doing everything in his power to at least try and be on the team sheet for the Wednesday-s match against Qatar.

Since arriving back in Australia in late July having signed with Adelaide United, Reid has made every post a winner and it hasn-t gone unnoticed by the many in the media and the man that matter-s most Pim Verbeek.

Reid has been outstanding in the middle of the park and helped Adelaide to third on the Hyundai A-League table and played a major role in The Reds charge towards a place in AFC Champions League final.

The former Wollongong Wolves star is still pinching himself with how things have gone and readily admits the past few months have been the best of football career.

“Yes it certainly is,” he says. “I was overseas for seven years and obviously every boys dream is to play for their country.

I wasn-t lucky enough to do that while I was overseas, so that was one of the main reasons for me to come back to Australia to play in the A-League and for it to happen after about 9 or 10 weeks of being back in Australia it-s really pleasing for me.

“It-s one of my dreams to represent my country and if I can do that on Wednesday night, it will definitely be a dream come true.

“In terms of my whole football career, it-s certainly been the best 10 weeks of my life and in the last week or so, its been very impressive and hopefully it can continue in the following years.”

Reid, who hails from western Sydney region of Macarthur, is certainly not letting this opportunity slip from his grasp and is hopeful of making the final squad of 18.

“Everyone knows it was a shock, for me to get in this squad, but I have played with a lot of these players through my younger years.

“They-ve made me feel really welcome, so I am really enjoying the experience that I-ve had over the last half a week and trying to put my foot forward to get into the 18-man squad.

“Three months ago my aim was to get into the Australian squad as quickly as possible and now that I have done that, I now want to go that extra step. If I can get into that 18-man squad against Qatar on Wednesday, I-d be very pleased with the progress.”

“Obviously everyone wants to start and everyone wants to be involved; I guess to think I-m going to start is probably out of the question at the moment, but my aim is to put my best foot forward and show the coach what I can do.

“If I can get into the 18-man squad, all well and good and we-ll just see what happens on Wednesday.”

It has been a hectic schedule for Reid and his fellow Adelaide teammates, combining Hyundai A-League and AFC Champions League (ACL) commitments and now training with the national team, but Reid for one is not daunted by it.

He has no doubts the AFC Champions League has prepared him well for this week and with three games in the next week, which includes a nightmare flight to Uzbekistan, Reid is sure he will get through.

“It (ACL) certainly has prepared me, even just the sharpness side of things. Everyone knows that international games are a lot quicker and a lot sharper than A-League games and I guess even European (club) games, so its certainly prepared me well.

“Over the last couple of months I-ve got a lot fitter and lot sharper, so it has helped in preparing for the Australian team.

“Physically I am fine. It-s good for me, the more games I play the fitter and stronger I-m going to get. I want to play in as many games as I possibly can and if I am involved on Wednesday and have the opportunity to get on the pitch, I am definitely at 100% physical fitness, so I am really looking forward to it.”

Reid, like Robert Cornthwaite, Eugene Galekovic and Scott Jamieson, his Adelaide teammates also in camp here in Brisbane, won-t have much time to reflect on the week, with two massive games quickly following, especially the ACL Semi Final 2nd leg tie against Uzbesistan-s Bunyodkor/Kuruvchi.

With Adelaide winning the first leg at Hindmarsh Stadium 3-0, The Reds have a strong foot in the door to reach the final, which will do wonders for the club, the city, the league and the code in general.

“Certainly am (looking forward to it). Obviously the main priority at the moment is to concentrate on the game on Wednesday, but I guess at the back of my mind, we-ve also got an A-League game against Queensland on Friday and then travel for the game in Uzbekistan the following Wednesday.

“I-m giving 100% in training at the Australian camp and as I said, try and get into the 18-man squad, but if that doesn-t happen, I-ve got a lot of games coming up.”

And Reid had a message for his coach Aurelio Vidmar, just in case he was thinking of resting Reid for the Queensland match on Friday.

“If he (Aurelio) asks to rest me, I will tell him that I want to play Friday. Obviously Wednesday night first, then Friday night as well and back up the following Wednesday.

“The more games I play the happier I am going to be. If I can every game this season, I-d be more than happy with that.”

Now that-s commitment.