23-year-old Storm Roux has revealed he wasn’t expecting to be named captain going into last weekend’s match against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
With club captain Nick Montgomery sidelined with a groin injury, head coach Paul Okon opted to hand the armband to the New Zealand international, and by all accounts he didn’t disappoint, picking up man-of-the-match honours and guiding the Yellow & Navy to an important 1-all draw against last season’s Grand Finalists.
“It was a massive honour to be named captain when Monty was injured, I took a lot of pride in it,” Roux said. “I wasn’t expecting it. I got a message from Paolo before the game. It was a huge privilege. It’s not really something I pictured myself doing – I thought later in my career [captaincy] is something I might grow into, but to get it anyway, at 23 years old… it’s a massive honour.”
In a sign of respect to Montgomery, Roux was clear that he took plenty of cues from the regular skipper and stressed it was just one game.
“I pick up on what Monty’s like – he’s a great captain. I tried to take different things from him, and make them into my own – but as I said it’s just for one game and everyone’s looking forward to getting him back in the team.”
Roux’s performance earned plaudits far and wide, with the right back’s best on field award backed up with a spot in the Hyundai A-League Team of the Week. After a long road to recovery following a series of injuries sustained late in Season 2015/16, the interim Mariners captain is keen to continue the improvement he’s shown since the opening round.
“My main goal was to get 90 minutes of football under my belt”, Roux explained. “I’ve been feeling better each game, that’s a big positive for me, and hopefully I can keep building on that.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s clash with Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium, Storm believes there is plenty of confidence growing within the squad.
“We’re confident we can come out with the result. We’ve been showing signs each week, we’re getting better at different areas in our game – hopefully we can come away with the three points.”
After shipping seven goals in the opening two rounds, the Mariners have conceded just two goals in two games over the past fortnight, which Roux believes is a real sign of improvement across the squad.
“We’re slowly stamping out those errors out of our game. We’re still waiting on that clean sheet – it’s a big goal of ours not to concede and something we focus on each day in training.”