Mr Personality: Jeggo's road from Austria to Australia, via England

Adelaide United midfielder Jimmy Jeggo is the latest subject of a regular feature where The World Game has a bit of fun with the game's stars by asking them questions they wouldn't normally be asked and letting their personalities shine.

Jimmy Jeggo

Source: Getty Images

Jeggo told TWG:

About his interesting childhood - growing up in Europe and Australia

Which football superstar's autobiography he recently got a kick out of reading

Why football is his favourite thing in life

About his dream of playing in Europe

Which countries top his list as holiday destinations

How he would like to be remembered as a player when he eventually retires

TWG: It's a cool name, Jimmy Jeggo. Does anyone still call you James, or does everyone call you Jimmy?

JJ: Pretty much everyone calls me Jimmy now. I only get called James if I'm in trouble, I think, with my parents or my girlfriend. Jimmy seems to have caught on and that's fine with me. Jimmy Jeggo rolls off the tongue pretty easily.

TWG: You were born in Austria, but your parents are from England. What was the story there?

JJ: My whole family was based in the UK, in England, but mum and dad moved to Austria for work reasons and my brother and I were born there and when I was 11 we moved to Australia.

TWG: You don't sound like you've got any sort of a European accent. Is there any trace there?

JJ: Even though we grew up in Austria a lot of my parents' friends there were English, and I think when we arrived in Australia I had a bit of an English twang to my accent, but it disappeared very quickly. They obviously speak German in Austria, but I went to an English-speaking school there. I speak a little bit of German. I mainly learned it from the boys I was playing football with over there and it was enough to get me through.

TWG: So how many passports have you got?

JJ: I've got a British one and an Australian one.

TWG: Your parents obviously liked Australia when they came out, because they're still here.

JJ: Yeah, they absolutely love it here. They've always been very happy in Melbourne and I can't see them leaving there any time soon.

TWG: Since you didn't leave Austria until you were 11 you must have plenty of memories of that country. Do you feel naturally attracted to Europe or do you feel like a total Aussie?

JJ: I don't know really. While I was growing up in Austria I always felt like I was English, because my parents were English and the rest of my family were in England and we supported England in the World Cup, but I wasn't born in England and I never really lived there. So it's a bit of a funny one. I've never felt Austrian and if you asked me now I'd say I'm Australian.

TWG: How often have you been to England?

JJ: We go quite regularly to see all the relatives. It's a bit harder now that I'm in Australia and playing professional football, but when I was still a kid in Austria we would go once a year at least.

TWG: How do you find Adelaide after growing up as a teenager in Melbourne and starting your professional career there?

JJ: I really like it. Obviously it's smaller than Melbourne, but it's got everything. Maybe not as many choices of the same things, but I'm very settled here with my girlfriend.

TWG: Is your girlfriend from Adelaide or Melbourne?

JJ: She's from Melbourne and came across with me. We've been together for three or four years now. She's working in Adelaide and she has made some friends here through work as well.

TWG: What do you do on your day off in Adelaide?

JJ: (Laughs) I'm quite boring. Normally when I've got a day off I've got my feet up on the couch and relaxing. Sometimes I go for a hit of golf with a few of the boys, I enjoy that.

TWG: Are you a music lover, or a moviegoer, or an avid reader?

JJ: A bit of everything. I quite like movies, my girlfriend and I will often go and watch a movie if we've got a bit of time. I read quite a few sport autobiographies, I just finished Steven Gerrard's actually. I enjoy a good book like that, to relax, especially in the afternoon when I've got a game coming up.

TWG: Are you a Liverpool man or is it just a coincidence you were reading Gerrard's book?

JJ: I'm not a Liverpool man, but Steven Gerrard has always been one of my favourite players.

TWG: You haven't played for an overseas club yet, but would you like to?

JJ: Yeah, definitely. If an opportunity arose it's something I'd look into and I'd be keen on doing it under the right circumstances, but it would depend on what sort of opportunity it was. I'm happy playing my football here, but if a good opportunity came up somewhere in Europe I'd look at it for sure.

TWG: You played some AFC Asian Champions League games overseas with Melbourne Victory. What was that like?

JJ: Yeah, we played in Japan, China and Korea and that was massive, I loved that. It was a great experience, playing in different countries against teams that played a different way. In the A-League there are only 10 teams and 10 different places to play at, so it's good to go overseas and experience different conditions and different cultures.

TWG: What is your favourite thing in life? Is it football or something else?

JJ: I'd have to say football. I'm pretty wall-to-wall football to be honest, so if I'm not playing and there's a game on TV, I'll watch it, or if there's something interesting to read about then I'll read it.

TWG: Where in the world would you like to go that you haven't been yet, not necessarily for football but just to visit?

JJ: I've always wanted to go to Mexico. I know a few people who have gone there on holidays and they said it was absolutely brilliant. It has always appealed to me anyway, so I think that would be somewhere I'll be trying to get to soon.

TWG: Have you picked up a bit of Spanish in Adelaide? It would be hard not to, with all of the Spanish presence among the players and coaching staff.

JJ: I've picked up a little bit of Spanish, not a lot, but that's another place I'd like to go to, Spain. It would be good to meet up with our Spanish guys there. For some reason they've just taught us words to do with the weather, so I can tell you what the weather's like in Spanish, but not much else.

TWG: Finally, fast-forward to the day you retire and tell us how you would like to be remembered as a player.

JJ: (Laughs) That's a tough question for a 23 year-old, I'm hoping that's a long way off yet! I think I always go out there and give everything and I think I'd like to be remembered as someone you always knew was going to give 110 per cent. The biggest thing about your career, I think, is that you would like to be able to look back and say that you won things and were successful, so hopefully along the way there will be a few titles. Obviously there was the FFA Cup we won last season and that was a good start. Basically, I'd like to be known as a player who always gave his all.

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7 min read
Published 6 January 2016 at 5:41pm
By Greg Prichard