Rose's family sacrifice to keep his career alive

Veteran defender Josh Rose has spoken of the sacrifice he and his family have made to keep his career alive and why he has no regrets even though it is emotionally difficult.

Josh Rose

Melbourne City defender Josh Rose in a tussle with Melbourne Victory's Marco Rojas Source: Getty Images

Early in this pre-season Rose could sense he was on the outer at Central Coast Mariners.

At the same time Melbourne City, the most progressive club in the A-League with the backing of the mega-wealthy City Football Group, showed interest in him.

The end result was that left-back Rose, seemingly in the twilight of his career at 34, acquired a release from his contract with Mariners and joined City on a one-year deal. 

He has since gone on to start in the first two rounds in which the City team, buzzing from the Tim Cahill effect among many other strengths, has posted back-to-back wins.

But while Rose's football life is being reinvigorated his personal life is suffering with the defender having to deal with being away from his wife, Jeni, and their three boys, Jai, eight, Dylan, six, and Nate, three.

They remain on the Central Coast at least for the time being, because of school commitments and Jeni's work.

"It is a big sacrifice," Rose told The World Game.

"It's difficult, because I'm a very hands-on dad and I miss the family a lot, but I think making that sacrifice helps drive the motivation in me to succeed and really make this opportunity worthwhile.

"I had to make the decision quickly when the opportunity came, but there was still a lot of thought put into it and it wasn't easy.

"But, looking back, there are definitely no regrets. It's a fantastic club,  Melbourne City, and everyone has been really welcoming since I came here."

The family obviously keep in touch constantly and Rose said he and his wife are doing their best to schedule as many get-togethers as possible around football, work and school schedules.

"The family came down in the school holidays and I'll see them on the trips back to NSW to play, or if we've got a trip to Brisbane that's where my wife's family is, so we can do something about getting together there," Rose said.

"Our eldest son loves his football probably even more than I do, so he understands what's going on. I kept him in the loop when this came up and explained what the possibilities might be, so although it's tough he knows what this opportunity presents.

"My wife also understands the situation and she's got her own things going on at the coast at the moment, so she has stayed there to continue that."

Rose, who is from Queensland, began his senior football career in Brisbane and from there he has been to New Zealand, Romania, Central Coast, where he won the championship in season 2012-13, and now Melbourne.

He is well aware in football things can be as unpredictable off the field as on it.

"One of the biggest factors in making this decision was that, when the opportunity came up, at 34 years of age the last few years probably hadn't been the best for me on the field and I saw it as a positive way to maybe get myself back playing some good football," Rose said.

"I wasn't really getting a look-in at the Mariners for whatever reason... but being the sort of person I am I continued to give 100 per cent and luckily for me this opportunity came up.

"Football's a funny game and you never know where you're going to end up, so all you can do as a professional, especially someone at my age, is keep the head down, keep working hard and opportunities like this either come along or they don't.

"You've just got to make sure you're awake and ready to go if they do."

Rose, who turns 35 in December, said he was feeling in better shape than ever and was making no retirement plans.

"I feel fantastic, I'm probably fitter now than I was four years ago," he said.

"I think the older you get the better you look after your body, so at the moment I'm just concentrating week to week and hopefully playing well and not picking up any injuries.

"Everywhere you look there are great players in the squad and if you have an off game or even an off couple of training sessions you might find yourself on the bench, so you've got to stay on your toes.

"I'm really enjoying my football at the moment, which is obviously the main thing. Hopefully I can continue to play well and you never know what's around the corner."

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5 min read
Published 19 October 2016 at 3:30pm
By Greg Prichard