Bertrum Speirs’s patience has paid off with his return to the Moreton Bay United starting line-up – but he will take nothing for granted.
“I’m going to keep working, keep pushing, take whatever opportunities come my way,” said the keeper. “Game time, that’s all I want.”
Though still only 18 (19 in October) Bertrum made his senior debut at the end of 2019 and was between the posts last season when Jets drew 1-1 at tonight’s visitors Gold Coast Knights.
Then COVID struck and football stopped. When it resumed Bertrum badly injured his neck at Wolter park during an Under 20s match, which was abandoned.
This season he has been waiting for a senior chance and it arrived in the 3-3 drew with Lions in our last home game and 4-1 victory at Strikers last weekend.
“I’m happy with the way things have gone in the last couple of games,” Bertrum said. “I’ve made some saves and I hope it helped the team confidence and morale.
“I’ve actually had a bump in though. Deccy (captain Declan Smith) asked me why was I not as loud as I am with the Under 23s? It really got me thinking … I really need to be louder.
“I am playing with more experienced players, but they are not really any different to 23s. I think that will come with games and understanding how things work.
“At my age, stepping up you have to be a bit more on your game. Playing with more experienced players, you have to deal with situations you’re not used to, understand different speeds, different techniques, how fast the ball is coming, different shots, different playing styles.
“I feel confident with the way Royce has built me into the squad. I cannot complain if I’m playing in the first team. Now I cannot wait for Gold Coast Knights."
Bertrum played for ACE from Under 9-12 and Jets from Under 12-15. Then he had a year at Brisbane Roar before returning in 2018 and playing in the Under 20s during 2019.
It was late that year Bertrum made his senior debut in Mackay at the age of 16 years, 9 months and 21 days in what was believed to be the youngest first team keeper in NPL Qld history.
Bertrum faced three penalties in Jets’ 4-1 victory that night and saved the third one, see picture above.