Expectations Don’t Faze Level-Headed McDermott

Dec 07, 2019 by

Re-signed midfielder Cade McDermott says he is up for the challenge of building on his break-out 2019 season at Brisbane Strikers.

The 18-year-old defensive midfielder has recommitted for the 2020 campaign after signing his first senior playing contract with the club last month.

His signing comes after a stand-out season that saw him recognised with the Geoff Wright Star of the Future award at the club’s presentation night.

McDermott started the most recent season in the Under 20’s after rising through the Brisbane Strikers’ junior National Premier Leagues teams – starting in Under 12’s in 2013.

His impact in senior football was immediate – scoring in both his cup and league debuts and earning praise from supporters as a reliable toiler in the often unsung defensive midfield role.

He explained that with a solid platform now behind him, he sees Brisbane Strikers as the right club to help him continue to raise his stocks even further as one of the state’s most promising young talents.

“I am very happy to have signed my first contract with Brisbane Strikers,” McDermott said.

“I came up through the ranks here and I worked hard for a long time and it is a great feeling to get that recognition as a proper senior player for the club.”

“It was a bit different to last year, with the club management and signing a proper deal, but it was also a bit exciting and I am ready to now pay back the faith they have shown in me.”

Further, McDermott said his longer term ambitions are to push on to the highest levels of football he possibly can now he has dipped his toe in the waters of senior football.

“I strongly believe that another season at Brisbane Strikers will make me a better player,” he explained.

“I want to be ready for any opportunities that might come my way in the future and I am confident the environment around the club will help me to do that.”

An Old Head On Young Shoulders

McDermott’s rise in 2019 was one of several feel-good stories for Brisbane Strikers fans in what proved a record-breaking season for Owen Baker’s side.

However, McDermott’s introduction to the team came at a tough time following an inconsistent start to the season – making his senior debut in the must-win atmosphere of the FFA Cup against a tricky lower-tier opponent.

McDermott said despite lining up against more seasoned, professional opponents – and basking in the atmosphere of a packed house at Perry Park – he never felt overwhelmed in his debut year.

“It’s strange because I really didn’t feel any pressure. Even when we were playing against the A-League teams in the FFA Cup, I just tried to go about things the same way,” he explained.

“I didn’t even feel nervous during the games – I just played and it seemed to work for me.”

True to his nature, he explained that he will take the same approach into the upcoming season where he looks to hold down his starting position as an established first-teamer.

“I’ve been told that there is a little bit more pressure trying to maintain a spot in a team rather than win it, but I haven’t felt that personally yet,” he said.

“It may come once the season starts but for now I’m just going to keep my head down and keep working the way I did to get my spot in the first place.”

Baker Backs Another Big Season For His Young Gun

For Brisbane Strikers Head Coach Owen Baker, McDermott journey from potential-ladened junior talent to first team phenom was a highlight of the 2019 season.

However, with pre-season now in full swing, he has turned his attention to guiding his young charge through the challenges of building on his break-out season.

“I cannot wait to see how Cade performs in his second year and I believe the other players and the supporters will feel the same way,” Baker said.

“I have no doubt he will continue to rise and strengthen as one of the most exciting and best young midfielders in the National Premier Leagues and FFA Cup.”

“It was obvious to see he has the ability to perform exceptionally well at this level after he broke into the team midway through last season.”

“His youthful energy and technical ability add values to the way our teams perform and, after being at the club since he was 12, he truly knows and believes in the ‘Strikers Way’ of playing football.”

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