Gersbach points to possible Rosenborg exit

Australia defender Alex Gersbach has hinted at a possible departure from Rosenborg, as he bids to remain in the frame for next year's FIFA World Cup in Russia.


Alex Gersbach is on the move to French side Lens Source: @fenerbahceSCT (Twitter)

The gifted left wing-back started just nine of Rosenborg's 30 Eliteserien League games as they romped to the Norwegian title, his fourth trophy since signing in 2016 from Sydney FC.

He made six further league appearances off the bench, but is determined to either regain a regular starting spot next season or entertain the prospect of a move, should the club permit it.

A regular fixture for the side in a swashbuckling debut campaign, Gersbach, 20, admits it's been "frustrating" dropping down the pecking order at Norway's powerhouse club.

Speaking ahead of Friday's (AEDT) Europa League visit to Vardar - the club's final game of the year - Gersbach said: "I haven't been starting much this year which is a bit of a shame. But that's football, I guess.

"It's been tough. I really thought this year would be a big one for me. It hasn't really turned out that way, which is a bit disappointing.

"But these are the ups and downs you get in football. It's a World Cup year coming up and I want to be playing regularly leading into that.

"I have 18 months left on my contract here but if I'm not going to be playing next year as much as I'd like, then I'd like to get a move. But that's not my decision ... it's up to the club."

Gersbach, who has four caps for the Socceroos, has emerged as the most obvious cover for the in-form Aziz Behich for his country, and is committed to building on the progress he's made since heading to Europe.

"Obviously with the January transfer window coming up I'm sure things will be clarified in the next few weeks," he added.

"It's been a bit frustrating, I think I did all right last year. It's frustrating knowing that you're good enough to play but you're not playing.

"I'm at a big club with big aspirations of wanting to regularly win the title in Norway and then qualify for Champions Leagues and Europa Leagues. There is always going to be strong competition for places."

Despite his battle to convince coach Kare Hedley Ingebrigsten that he is worthy of a start, Gersbach has no recriminations over a move which has brought him into the Socceroos' inner sanctum and exposed him to the rigours and challenges of European football.

"It's been difficult the last year but I have absolutely no regrets over coming here two years ago," he said.

"I've won three or four trophies over the last two years, which isn't the worst thing is it? Maybe after the game this week I'll sit down with the club and find out what their plan is for me.

"Like I said, if I'm here next year and I'm not playing that's not a good scenario for me. I have to be playing when the next World Cup comes around, that's for sure.

"Also we have a new coach to come in for Australia (following the resignation of Ange Postecoglou) and it's difficult at this point because you don't really know where you stand.

"You need to be performing at your club to get noticed and obviously I can't do that if I am sitting on the bench here."

Gersbach was surprised at Postecoglou's departure and laments his exit.

"We all wanted him to take us to the next World Cup," he said. It was as such a tough qualification to get there and it brought us all closer.

"It would have been nice for Ange to be there in Russia. But we respect his decision and are thankful for what he has done over the last four years."

Gersbach's former mentor at Sydney FC, Graham Arnold, has been mentioned as a possible successor.

It's an appointment that Gersbach would welcome.

"Obviously Arnie coached me for two years at Sydney," he said. I'd be happy with him as the coach, as would a lot of others. But we just have to wait and see what happens."

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4 min read
Published 7 December 2017 at 11:32am
By Dave Lewis