Eighteen-year-old Australian striker John Iredale has made an impressive start in Holland after moving to Eredivisie side SC Heerenveen just a few weeks ago.
The former Sydney FC youth player has already made an big impact this season, scoring four goals in as many games for the club’s under-19 side.
The Young Socceroo found the back of the net twice in his opening game for his new side and has since gone on to score two more goals, including one against Sebastian Pasquali’s Ajax team.
Despite only moving to Holland in September, the teen has already played a crucial role in the under-19 team, scoring four of the side’s 10 goals this season.
Iredale said that his impressive start has helped him settle in and made the move to a foreign country much easier.
“It probably takes off some stress. It’s a relief that you can come in and not worry about not performing when there’s so much change going on,” he said. “You can still just play well on the field. It helps with everything.”
His strong start with the under-19 side saw him make an appearance for the club’s reserve team on Tuesday.
“It was a great experience. You’re always playing with new players when you change clubs so it was a good chance for me to work out how the different players play. I think each player here has a lot of good qualities. It was a good game.
“Training with the first and reserves team here definitely helps you take your game to the next level.”
Iredale made the move SC Heerenveen following an impressive season with Sydney FC in the NSW National Premier League which saw him make the league’s Team of the Week on two occasions.
“I ended the season with the under-20s with 17 goals in 14 games,” he said.
“We had a good season and unfortunately got knocked out in the semi-final.
“I was also playing with first grade team. Towards the end of the season I got more starts and I scored four goals in four games at the end of the season for them.
“I then got to play pre-season with the A-League squad which was really good as well.”
Iredale also made two pre-season appearances for Sydney FC including a 25-minute appearance against Arsenal in July.
“It was an unreal experience. It’s something that most people dream of and to play in front of 80,000 fans at ANZ Stadium was pretty cool.
He said that his club form had helped catch the eye of scouts from Heerenveen.
“They saw some videos and they really wanted to see me,” he said. “I went for a trial in the off-season and from there they really liked me and wanted me to come back.”
Heerenveen is the same club that recently signed former Melbourne Victory star Marco Rojas. Iredale says that he hopes to get the chance to play alongside Rojas at some point this season.
“I met up with Marco and he seems like a really nice person. Hopefully I’ll get to see some more of him.”
While the move to Holland has meant a breakthrough in Iredale’s career, it has interrupted his final year of high school. He said that while football has been the main priority, he still intends to complete his Higher School Certificate.
“I’ll be doing my HSC exams this month over here. We’ve already organised it and I know where I’ll be sitting the exam. I’ve had to keep studying over here and make sure I still do my best.
“I probably haven’t studied as much as I’d like. I’ve been focussing a lot on my football.
“It’s different over here. It’s a big change obviously but it’s been really good. They’ve very welcoming here and it’s a nice, small town.
“I’m currently with my dad over here but the rest of my family are looking to move over a bit later in the year.”
Iredale said his goal for the rest of the year is to continue to grow and hopefully break into the club’s first team.
“I think I’ll be with the reserve team for most of the season. I’ve been training a lot with them.
“At the moment, it’s all about the club just wanting to help me settle in and find my feet on the other side of the world.
“I definitely want to improve as a person off the field and as a player on the field. I want to develop my game and just do the best I can this season.
“It’s hard to see the future too far ahead. I’m obviously wanting to be with the first team in the next two years and we’ll see where that goes from there.
“The club has told me they’ve got plans for me so we’ll see where that goes.”