After impressing during an unexpected call-up to the World Cup, Melbourne Heart defender Michael Beauchamp is back in the A-League for the first time in three years and loving every moment, writes Evan Harding.
After impressing during an unexpected call-up to the World Cup, Melbourne Heart defender Michael Beauchamp is back in the A-League for the first time in three years and loving every moment.
A year ago, the defender was mulling over a move to Al-Jazira following a disappointing campaign with Danish club Aalborg in which injury restricted him to just 12 matches.
Even six months ago, he had been unable to secure regular first-team football with the Abu Dhabi club and had dropped off the radar.
But as any centre-half knows when launching into a tackle, timing is everything and for Beauchamp, the timing couldn-t have been better. Breaking into the lineup at Al-Jazira, Beauchamp impressed enough to become a bolter in Pim Verbeek-s World Cup squad.
‘Life-s a funny thing sometimes and the way it worked out there I wasn-t playing at all until the last month and a half and luckily enough it was at the right time,- he said.
After signing on with the Heart, Beauchamp went to South Africa and slotted into the defence for against Serbia, earning more praise for his performance in the win.
His World Cup adventure did however lead to a shortened domestic preparation, but Beauchamp is now fully into the swing of the season.
‘I-ve played a few games now since I-ve come here,- he said. ‘I-m feeling better and when your football life is going well everything else tends to go well for you as well so I-m enjoying it.-
Beauchamp, who played the first two seasons of the A-League with Central Coast Mariners, has noticed improvement in the competition from three years ago.
‘I think it-s getting better and better,- he said.
‘The way we-re trying to play this season is going to be another positive thing for Australian football, I hope, and if we can start gelling together as everyone-s been talking about we-re going to put in some good performances.-
As for further outings in national colours, Beauchamp is hopeful of being involved in new Socceroos- coach Holger Osieck-s first squad.
‘If selected I-ll put my hand up but again it-s up to them, what they want and what they-re looking for; the last game they only chose overseas players.
‘We-ll see what happens.-
Evan Harding is a Master of Global Communications student at La Trobe University and sport editor of upstart.