Years of patience and hard work has finally paid off for Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Matt Acton after the 20-year-old was promoted from the club’s youth set-up into the Hyundai A-League squad.
Following the departure of Andrew Redmayne to Melbourne Heart at the conclusion of the club’s AFC Champions League campaign, Acton signed a two-year senior contract, keeping him at the Roar until the end of the 2013/14 season.
In 2007, the Townsville-born custodian and his family made the move south for Acton to pursue his dreams and take up a scholarship with the Queensland Academy of Sport and since then has barely looked backwards.
One year later, he was a part of the inaugural Queensland Roar Youth side – then coached by Rado Vidosic – before developing even further as a promising goalkeeper under current National Youth League coach John Sime and club goalkeeping coach Fernando vaz Alves.
“I moved down expecting to play QAS for a couple of years and then maybe Brisbane Premier League,” said Acton, who has also represented Australia as a Qantas Young Socceroo.
“To be given this opportunity is just amazing - I never imagined being in an A-League team or being a professional footballer so I’m loving it.”
While many similarities will exist between his former presence in the Brisbane squad and his new role, Acton is well aware of the magnitude of his step up to the big time which sees him as back-up to three-time Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year Michael Theoklitos.
“It’s not too much different because I’ve been training with the first team for a few years now,” he said.
“I suppose it’s just more responsibility because I’m the second choice ‘keeper and if something happened to Theo, I’ll have to step in now.
“Before, I would be a part of it but wasn’t involved on game day so it’ll much of the same for me but more responsibility.”
With the majority of Brisbane’s squad already re-signed for next season, Acton and attacking option Ben Halloran are the only new club signings to date.