Adrian Leijer


Adrian Leijer

Football player infobox
playername = Adrian Leijer
fullname =
dateofbirth = birth date and age|df=yes|1986|03|25
cityofbirth = Dubbo, NSW
countryofbirth = Australia
height = height|m=1.86
currentclub = Fulham
clubnumber = 27
position = Centre Back
youthyears =

2002–2003
youthclubs = SASS Strikers
Geelong
VIS
years = 2003–2004
2005–2007
2007–"present"
clubs = Melbourne Knights
Melbourne Victory
Fulham
caps(goals) = 20 (0)
41 (1)
00 (0)
nationalyears = 2003
2004–2005
2006–"present"
2008
nationalteam = Australia U-17
Australia U-20
Australia U-23
Australia
nationalcaps(goals) = 11 (0)
10 (1)
18 (1)
01 (0)
pcupdate = 13 October 2007
ntupdate = 11 April 2008

Adrian Leijer (born 25 March 1986 in Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia) is an Australian football (soccer) player who currently plays as a centre back for Fulham F.C. in the English Premier League.

Club career

Early years

Leijer was born, and largely grew up in, the New South Wales town of Dubbo to a family of Dutch and English heritage. He played from Under 10 - Under 14 with SASS Strikers Junior Soccer Club in the Dubbo & District Soccer Association. Whilst with SASS, he represented Western New South Wales and New South Wales Country in football.

When Leijer was 15 years old his family moved south to Jan Juc on Victoria's surf coast and attended Belmont High School where he joined the Geelong Soccer team and represented the U-15's Victorian Country team. Ian Greener, then Head of Coaching & Development at the Victorian Soccer Federation, spotted his talent and recommended him to the head coach of the Victorian Institute of Sport Football program, Ernie Merrick.

Leijer spent two years at the Victorian Institute of Sport and then moved on to the Melbourne Knights for the last season of the now defunct National Soccer League, where he made 18 appearances during a season where the club finished second last in the competition.

While still training at the VIS, Leijer and his future team mate Kristian Sarkies were selected to trial with Everton Football Club in the English Premier League for three weeks. However, they both failed to impress and returned home to Australia.

Melbourne Victory

Upon his return to Australia, he was signed by Melbourne Victory, a team in the new A-League competition. His former VIS coach Ernie Merrick, who had taken the reins at Melbourne Victory, stated; "Adrian is a reliable and uncompromising defender with a football maturity beyond his years. He is already part of the senior leadership group within the club and is the second youngest player in the squad,"

The club's first season was reminiscent of Leijer's time at the Melbourne Knights as Melbourne Victory finished second last overall. Leijer, however, played 20 games for the club, only missing their final game against the New Zealand Knights through suspension. At the end of the season he was awarded the Players' Player of the Year and Clubman of the Year awards.

Melbourne Victory's second season was more successful, starting with seven straight wins and culminating in a 6-0 victory over Adelaide United in the Grand Final. At the A-League's end of season awards, Leijer won Young Player of the Year.

Fulham

On the 2 August 2007, Melbourne Victory confirmed that English Premier League team Fulham FC had made a bid for the then 21-year old. Leijer accepted and signed a 3 year contract for an undisclosed fee. [ [http://www.theworldgame.com.au/home/index.php?pid=st&cid=92950 Leijer joins Fulham] ]

Leijer consistently played for the Fulham FC reserve team throughout the 2007/2008 season and was also included in the squads to face both Liverpool and Reading, but stayed on the bench both times.

International career

Adrian Leijer's first taste of the senior international scene was when he was selected by Guus Hiddink to train with the Socceroos before the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. After his short training stint with the senior team he continued being selected for Young Socceroos squads. He is currently a regular member of the Australia national under-23 football team, the Olyroos.

Leijer earned his first cap for the senior Australian national team against Singapore on March 22, 2008.

Honours

With Melbourne Victory:
* A-League Championship: 2006-2007
* A-League Premiership: 2006-2007Personal Honours:
* A-League Young Player of the Year: 2006-2007

References

External links

* [http://www.fulhamfc.com/MatchAndTeam/PlayerProfiles/ProfileDetails/AdrianLeijer.aspx Fulham profile]
* [http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/MensU23/default.aspx?s=aus_u23men_player_profile&pid=880&tid=112 FFA - Olyroo profile]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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