Ross County goalkeeper Ash Maynard-Brewer says a recent discussion with boyhood hero Mark Schwarzer has given him fresh inspiration.
Australian Maynard-Brewer was earlier this month the subject of an internet documentary, in which he was interviewed by his fellow countryman Schwarzer.
Former Middlesbrough, Fulham and Chelsea goalkeeper Schwarzer is the Socceroos’ most capped player, with 109 national team appearances to his name.
The 49-year-old made his mark on European football after making the move to German outfit Dynamo Dresden from Marconi Stallions in 1994.
Maynard-Brewer is forging his own career in the United Kingdom, having joined County on loan from English side Charlton Athletic in the summer.
He says his advice from Schwarzer has provided him with a huge boost.
Maynard-Brewer said: “He was someone I looked up to when I was young, and it was nice to have him fly to Dingwall.
“He’s a bloke who has played at a high level for such a long period of time.
“He was literally the bloke I watched when I was younger, so it was a kind of strange one.
“It was really nice having a chat and picking his brain a bit. He told me his story of how he came over to Germany when he was 18 or 19.
“One thing he said was he moved to teams he did purely based on football, not the outside living bits.
“When he moved to Bradford he suffered for a few months outside of football, but on the pitch he wanted to play football and put himself in a better place.
“It was an interesting chat.”
Young goalkeeper following a well-trodden path
Maynard-Brewer is eager to follow the example of numerous fellow Australian footballers who have thrived since making the move to Britain.
The 22-year-old added: “The club I was at in Western Australia, ECU Joondalup, have had a few guys come over and do well in the football league.
“They might not be well known, but guys like Jordan Lyden, Cameron Burgess and Rhys Williams have come over.
“They are people who I want to follow in the footsteps of. There was a pathway for me to come over to the UK and play.”
Maynard-Brewer was sidelined for County’s final game of 2021, with Ross Laidlaw stepping into the side for the 2-1 loss to Hearts at Tynecastle.
Having started the 14 previous matches, Maynard-Brewer says he is enjoying his duel with Laidlaw for the gloves.
He added: “Ross is a great guy and he has been really helpful since I have come into the team.
“I will just focus on what I can do in games and training day-to-day, and not get too far ahead of myself.
“I said this before, but I found the first four or five games I played quite difficult.
“There were a lot of good coaches, and Scott Thomson the goalkeeping coach especially went through a lot of things.
“It was just about fine-tuning a few small things around my game. I always knew it was going to be like that having not played consistent football for a year or two.
“I took a few things on board, and took that into the last few games.”