Anton Tagliaferro sat down with the recently departed Jing Reec and spoke about his time at the Mariners and how a move from Marconi to the Central Coast, led to a five year deal in Denmark, all in the space of 365 days.
Tell us about the last 12 months Jing?
It’s been a whirlwind 12 months. A year ago, I made my debut for Marconi Stallions first team in the NSW National Premier League and not long after this I was invited to trial at the Mariners for the club’s NPL squad. Any trial at a club is always daunting however I am very thankful for the club in seeing something in me and I was offered a contract for the NPL team. I had heard many great things about how the Mariners develop young players, so I decided to take up the offer and sign for the club. After playing and scoring in a number of games for the Mariners NPL team, I was invited to train with the A-League squad and eventually made my debut in June against Western United in front of the home fans. It was such a surreal moment coming off the bench and having a hand in the sealer which sent the crowd wild in the 2-0 win
Following this match, what happened next?
I was told during my time at the Mariners that there were a couple of clubs overseas that were tracking me which really helped motivate me to train hard and do well. Shortly after the conclusion of the season, I was informed that Danish Super League team AGF Aarhus were interested in me and that they had made an official offer for me. It all happened really quickly and before I knew it, terms were agreed, and I had signed a five year contract with the club and flew over to Aarhus in July to start my new life.
That’s a bit of a fairy tale story really – how have you settled in and found things in Denmark?
Things have happened very quickly for me and in all honesty the move over here has worked out really well. The club found me a family to live with here in Aarhus and everyone at the club has been really good to me. Aarhus is one of the oldest and biggest clubs in Denmark and has a squad full of players from all over the world so everywhere you turn to, there is experience and a lesson to be learnt. The league here is very competitive and pretty physical and so far, I am pleased with how I am performing. I have played seven games for the Aarhus under 19/reserve team and have scored five goals which is a return that I am really happy with. I also made my debut for the Aarhus first team in September, which was a very proud moment for myself and my family and it was great to feel the love from my ex-teammates at the Mariners who sent their congratulations.
Really fantastic news Jing – and what do you remember re the Mariners and what does the future hold for you now?
I will always be grateful to the Mariners for the opportunity and scholarship the club offered me as well as the exposure that they gave me. Even though I was only at the club for 6 months, I really must say a big thank you to Monty [Nick Montgomery], Sergio [Raimundo] and Ken [Schembri] as they really helped me with my development – both psychologically and on the pitch with constant constructive suggestions on how I could improve my game. I will always be grateful for having the chance to train with the first team while at the Mariners as it was a great experience to train alongside such experienced players and great leaders like Ollie [Bozanic], Matt [Simon], Birraz [Mark Birighitti] and Marco [Ureña].
I am an extremely motivated and ambitious player, and I am determined to do well at Aarhus. I am only 18 and I know that I have a long way to go to prove myself and to carve out a worthwhile career as a professional player. I am dreaming big – dreaming about being called up for the Olyroos in the not too distant future and perhaps one day representing Australia and playing for the Socceroos – which would be a very proud moment for myself and my family.