Turnbull Scotches The Rumour Mill

Apr 25, 2015 by

Twenty-four hours can be a long time in football, as Brisbane Strikers (and now Melbourne Victory) goalkeeper Michael Turnbull has discovered today.  Less than a day after a hastily-arranged stint with A-League club Victory on an injury replacement basis was confirmed, Turnbull found himself dealing with a social media rumour mill questioning his football background.  Here’s how Turnbull sets the record straight and explains the help he has had from the Brisbane Strikers:

By Michael Flynn

Goalkeeper Michael Turnbull has set the record straight about his time in Europe and the support he received from Brisbane Strikers before his recent move to the Hyundai A-League.

The 34-year-old goalkeeper signed with Melbourne Victory earlier this week on an injury replacement contract after Victory’s first choice goalkeeper Nathan Coe was ruled out for the season.

He will remain with Victory until the end of the Hyundai A-League Finals Series but has confirmed he intends to return to Strikers in PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland once his commitments with the Melbourne club are concluded.

Turnbull’s playing career has taken him around the world and he was eager to clarify his playing stints in Italy, Belgium and England.

“There are a lot of different things out there about where I have been and everyone seems to have their own take on it,” Turnbull said.

He explained, “I was at Marconi in the NSL, but in between there was a brief stint with AS Roma. It was effectively a loan deal but then I had to come back for the (NSL) Finals Series.”

“From there I went to Standard Liege, to Bristol City, to New Zealand Knights.”

“(At Roma) I played a lot of youth games, but no actual first team games. I was quite young then. But at Standard Liege I played a few games including in the cup.”

Despite his travels – and declining an offer from an unnamed German club last year – Turnbull said he remained eager to again test himself in the Hyundai A-League.

“I always wanted to finish up in the A-League. It’s come so far from when I played in the old NSL and in the days of the old New Zealand Knights,” he said.

“I’m still pretty fit and healthy and I think I have about five years left and, to be honest, I feel like I’m a better player than I was before.”

After playing for a number of second-tier clubs in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland following his time with Knights, Turnbull took a sojourn from football to concentrate on his business interests prior to linking up with Strikers in 2014.

He said he was grateful for the support of Strikers as he continues to balance work and football commitments, describing the former NSL Champions as the “best semi-professional club in Australia”.

“The players are looked after and we are truly semi-professional. The Strikers are a breeding ground and a development club and there’s not that huge gap that there used to be to the next level,” he explained.

“(Technical Director) David Large and (head coach) Kevin A’herne-Evans and everyone else there are all about pushing players to the next level.”

“There were no dramas around me taking this opportunity and they were quite positive about what it meant for me and for the club.”

Having witnessed first-hand the development of Australian football over the past 15 years, Turnbull compared the current standard of PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues football favourably to the former National Soccer League.

“I think the game now is a lot more technical and sharper, but having said that the old NSL was a tough league – it was more of a physical game.”

Despite his late signing, Turnbull is eager to contribute to Victory’s push for the Hyundai A-League Premiers Plate and a possible tilt at a third Grand Final win next month.

“I’m putting in at training and doing everything I can. If they pick me I will be ready to play but if not I will be there on the bench supporting,” he concluded.

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