Jeggo up for a Sturm challenge

Dynamic midfielder Jimmy Jeggo admitted he’s made a quantum leap after his first taste of top flight Austrian football – but he is up for the challenge after joining Sturm Graz in January.

Jeggo

Source: Getty Images

The 24 year-old former Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory tyro made his debut in the 1-0 Austrian Cup loss against Bundesliga leaders Salzburg four days ago.

And while he was on the bench for Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Wolfsberger AC, the Vienna-born Jeggo was content enough with his initial contribution at a club sitting fourth on the ladder and pushing hard for a Europa League spot this season.

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“It’s definitely different to the A-League but that’s the reason I came over here - to improve,” Jeggo said.

Coach Franco Foda sees Jeggo as a player who can moulded into a quality performer on the European stage and the midfielder sees Sturm Graz as the perfect place to develop into such a performer.

“It’s a great place for me to do that," he said.

"I think I did okay - they needed another midfielder and it was good to get thrown straight into action.

“I have already learned a huge amount over my first couple of weeks training and playing in that game.

“I just need to now continue to improve and progress, and hopefully I will take this chance to take my game to another level and see how far I can go.

"So far, it’s been exactly what I hoped and it’s definitely a step up from Australia and a massive learning curve every day.”

After making 50 appearances for the Reds in two seasons, Jeggo now finds himself at a club which has won the Austrian title three times and whose fans demand a certain level of success.

“I have already seen how passionate they are, and the atmosphere they create," he said.

"Every year they want to be competing in Europe and I have come somewhere where there’s a lot of expectation and pressure and that can only be beneficial to me as player.”

Jeggo, whose box-to-box attributes and boundless energy are among his chief attributes, is taking nothing for granted and he believes he can crack the code in Europe.

“The aim is to come here and settle as quickly as I can and play regularly," he said.

"I am not at an age where I can afford not to be playing - but at the same time there will be a period where I will need to adapt and hopefully I can do that as quickly as possible," he said.

Sturm Graz had an approach rejected for Jeggo at the end of last season but returned to the table in January to land him with an undisclosed bid with two years of his Reds deal still remaining.

Jeggo took the plunge and he know success in Europe can only enhance his claims at international level.

“It all comes down to how you're playing,” he said.

"You’ve have seen with Ange (Postecoglou) and his selections that it doesn’t really matter whether you're playing in the A-League or elsewhere, it’s all about performances and playing regularly.

“For me it’s about lifting my game to a higher level and if that happens, then maybe it can open doors to the national team.”

While China is the new land of plenty for a growing number Aussies and a bevy of the world’s top talents, Jeggo is more than happy to have headed to Europe.

The 24-year-old has signed a two and a half year deal. 

“At my age, and where I am in my career, my sole focus is on improving and I feel Europe’s the place for me to do that,” Jeggo said.

“The money getting pumped into China and the calibre of player going there is not something to be scoffed at - it’s definitely an interesting league.

“But, for me, Europe is where I have always wanted to play.”


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4 min read
Published 14 February 2016 at 2:13pm
By David Lewis
Source: SBS