Irvine reveals how Hull City move almost broke down on deadline day

Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine has revealed how his dream move from Burton Albion to English Championship promotion contenders Hull City nearly fell apart due to some last-minute wrangling.

Jackson Irvine

Jackson Irvine in action for Burton Albion Source: Getty Images

Irvine was so confident that he would make the move to the north-east that he posed for photos at Hull’s training ground with a club shirt before he went away for international duty, even though a deal had not been concluded.

Signed for an undisclosed fee – though sources suggest Hull paid £2.5 million (A$4.1m) for his services, with sell-on clauses – Irvine admitted that his confidence the deal would go ahead lessened as the transfer deadline wore on, with the two sides struggling to agree on key financial aspects of the deal.

Irvine was in Tokyo for the Socceroos’ World Cup qualifier against Japan when the English transfer window shut, giving him a nervous period of waiting in his hotel room before the confirmation finally came through.

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"Yesterday, I got the news late in the night that the deal had gone through after some strange goings on over the weekend, and even over the whole last week," he said.

"I'm fully focused on the Socceroos' match in Melbourne [against Thailand] on Tuesday but then it's straight back to the UK for the first game on Friday night. I'm looking forward to getting started."

While Burton have made a profit of almost £2 million ($A3.3) on the 24-year old Melburnian, they will be hugely disappointed to lose arguably their most influential player.



Playing as a central midfielder, he scored 10 goals in 41 league games in the second tier last season. The team finished 20th, surviving relegation by a solitary point.

Irvine has become a favourite of Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou in the national team setup and he played for 86 minutes against Japan before being substituted.

Speaking after the 2-0 defeat, Irvine said he felt the problem over 90 minutes was in attack where Australia failed to score – something many critics put down to the absence of Tomi Juric and Tim Cahill, who both came off the bench.

"I think we weren't ruthless or clinical enough in the final third. They made it difficult because every time we faced them up in the final third, they had a number of bodies back there," he said.

"But those moments where we did cut through, I don't think we made enough of them. I remember [Mathew] Leckie put a fantastic ball across the goal and there was nobody in the box.

"These are the types of things we need to correct. We're going to need that sort of desire to score goals because that's the only way we'll get through now."

Irvine said he believed the Socceroos were too slow against Japan and would need to quicken the pace of their game if they were to get a result against Thailand in their final group stage match.

"As a midfielder, you want to try and play the ball forward but when the spaces are so tight, and they were stopping us from playing those threaded balls between the lines, it's frustrating. We needed to move the ball quicker and we needed to find answers," he said.

"I think we've done that well throughout the course of qualification but I'm gutted that we didn't give a true account of ourselves."


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3 min read
Published 1 September 2017 at 3:24pm
By Sebastian Hassett