Wednesday, July 8, 2009

McIntyre a rising star at Clarence United

Photos (Top to Bottom): Clarence United's Sam McIntyre gets the ball past University opponent Aaron Hindmarsh; Clarence United's centre-back Sam McIntyre; Sam McIntyre beats University's Bryn Griffiths to the ball

Sam McIntyre, Clarence United’s centre-back, is one of the club’s most promising young players in the senior Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League side.

Earlier this year, the 16-year-old left the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, where he had been since 2007, to return to club football because he felt he needed a greater challenge.

“Playing in the under-19 competition wasn’t really challenging enough, so I wanted to play seniors where it is a lot faster and physical so it could help me develop as a player,” McIntyre said.

“I moved to Clarence because there was a chance for me to play in the first team and it would have been a good chance to play with my brother, Adam.

“Franco Previdi, who was my state coach at under-14s and under-15s, is also involved with the Clarence senior squad and he was my state coach for two years and I have learnt so much with him.”

McIntyre, whose father, John, played for Metro, Juventus and Croatia and who is a great mentor for his son, would like to make soccer his career.

“Dad has been great,” said the younger McIntyre. “Having played at State level and state league with Juventus and Croatia, his knowledge of the game, support and advice have been fantastic.

“If I ever have any questions, I know he will always be there.”

Sam has been in the Clarence senior side for much of the current season and his debut was away to Devonport City in a State-wide Cup match which Clarence won 2-0.

His preferred position is in midfield because there he could be involved more in the attack.

“I would like to pursue football professionally and I have a few opportunities in the pipeline,” McIntyre said. “I know I still have a lot to learn, but I’m willing to do what it takes.

“Playing seniors will help sharpen me up and then later on in the year I have an opportunity to trial with the Newcastle Jets’ youth side.

“I’ll see where I’m at from there, and then, hopefully, I’ll get picked up by a club.

“My dream, of course, would be to play for the Green and Gold, the Socceroos, and Liverpool.”

McIntyre started playing when he was five years old at Montagu Primary School and was in all the Eastern Region squads through to the under-12s.

He then made the Southern Tasmania under-13s and the State under-14s and under-15s before winning a scholarship to the TIS.

McIntyre is confident Clarence can avoid relegation despite being second-last at the moment.

“We have games in hand, so if we win them, we are back up into fourth place,” he said.

“We just have to stay positive and play as we know we can and, if we do this, we will make the finals.

“At the moment, there is a lack of confidence going around in some players and not being able to train out on the pitch because of the wet weather hasn’t helped either.”

McIntyre considers South Hobart’s Shae Hickey as his most difficult individual opponent, and South Hobart and Hobart Zebras as the most difficult teams to play against.

“I’m very happy at Clarence because it is a growing club with a big future,” he said. “I have had no regrets since leaving the TIS for Clarence.”

McIntyre has some thoughts also about Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to University in the league.

“We had the better of the possession in the first half but couldn’t convert any of our chances and I think after they scored the penalty they all lifted and wanted the game more,” he said.

“The second half was poor by us.

“We just couldn’t keep possession and,m when we did get the ball, we gave it away cheaply.

“It became very frustrating.

“But, we will learn from the game and move on. We play University again soon so, hopefully, we will put in a better performance.”

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