Majestic Mooy stacking up the memories

Two FIFA World Cup qualifier victories, a derby winner against Leeds, a spot in the English Championship’s team of the week, shortlisted for the division’s player of the month and awarded Sky Sports’ goal of the day – welcome to 10 days in the life of Aaron Mooy.

Aaron Mooy

Aaron Mooy of Huddersfield Town celebrates after scoring a goal against Leeds United Source: Getty Images

If you add the fact that the on-loan Huddersfield Town midfielder has been credited as the catalyst of the Yorkshire club’s charge to the top of the Championship – they lie four points clear after six games – and the Australia star could be forgiven for feeling just a little pleased with himself.

But Mooy – never one to get carried away by success or too downcast by downturns – is happier for Terriers fans than he is for himself, as the club coached by German David Wagner continues to confound the tipsters going into Wednesday morning’s (AEST) trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

“I was happy for them because I know what it means to the supporters to beat Leeds,” said Mooy, whose second-half rocket sealed a 1-0 weekend win.

“The goal meant a lot. It was my first for the club and it was the only one in a derby and it was so important for the supporters. It was the perfect day to score.”

Despite all the accolades and bouquets being tossed his way, Mooy – taking a leaf from the stoic temperament of the Yorkshire folk who now eulogise him – is staying grounded and concentrating on the games ahead ... Brighton away and then a meeting with Massimo Luongo's Queens Park Rangers at home this weekend.

Assist king Mooy, whose 11 goals for Melbourne City last season proved he has many sides to his game, was encouraged by his teammates and Huddersfield‘s coaching staff to try his luck in front of goal, and he took them at their word.

“The boys and coaches have been telling me to have more shots ... it’s hard to remember the goal but the ball just fell to me and I decided to have a go. I was happy to see it go in,” he said.

Such is Mooy’s importance to Huddersfield’s cause that Wagner never considered resting him after his round-the-world exploits for the national team in victories against Iraq and UAE.

Mooy arrived at Manchester airport last Wednesday and headed straight to training without even going home to drop off his bags.

He had the following day off and then trained again before being rushed in against Leeds.

Looking back on Australia’s wins over Iraq and UAE, he said: “They were very important wins for us. It’s a difficult stage of qualifying but it’s been a good period for us … I hope we can keep building on that.”

The same applies with Huddersfield, who few would have tipped to be anywhere near the top of the table this season.

“We know it’s not going to be easy (to keep the run going) because there are no easy games in this division,” said Mooy.

“We can’t think too far ahead … it’s very early in the season and there are 40-odd games to go but we are a very fit team and are able to wear opponents down. That’s our strength.

“We are also a good footballing team and keeping possession so well seems to frustrate the opposition. We have a game plan, which we have stuck to, and it’s been paying off.”

While Mooy took great pleasure from his first Terriers goal, he knows scoring is only a fraction of his game under a boss who expects him to also dig in and defend, as well as create.

“Scoring is not my main job at the club. There are a lot of other things I have to do first,” he said.

“I am not fully focused on scoring goals, it’s not like that. There are a lot of other things that go into playing well but of course if the chance comes again to get a shot away I will take it.”

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4 min read
Published 13 September 2016 at 10:58am
By Dave Lewis