Two years’ hard work has paid off for striker Ally Russell who has joined Moreton Bay United for the 2021 NPL season.
The 26-year-old had his sights on Queensland’s top tier when signing for Albany Creek Excelsior in late 2018, having scored 11 times for North Pine.
In 2019 he found the back of the net 14 times in 14 Brisbane Premier League (BPL) games for ACE and one in the grand final victory over Toowong.
This year Ally had 16 goals in 16 BPL games, was in the Brisbane Premier League team of the year and was in the top three for BPL player of the year.
“I spoke to (ACE coach) Steve Glockner a year ago, before the last season,” said Ally, “I wanted to stay with ACE, score some goals and try to make that next step up.
“Now, I think I’m ready and I want to try and take this chance that Royce (Brownlie) has given me.
“I have a good idea of what I’m walking in to. I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s good going into a team where you know a few players and I’m looking forward to getting to know all of them.”
Jets’ coach Royce Brownlie said Ally had “earned his stripes as an Albany Creek player who has worked his way up”.
“In recent years he’s become known as a proven goal scorer,” said Royce, “I want to give him an opportunity and see if he can do it at the next level.
“Ally brings some good experience around the box and being that target man up front.”
Ally played for Peninsula Power as a junior and then had spells with Pine Rivers, North Star and North Pine before signing for ACE, which he felt at the time was a “great opportunity” .
Now his main aim is “trying to get into the (Jets’) starting line-up and then try to get among the top scorers,” said Ally.
Was he happy with last year’s goal tally and second spot in the BPL Golden Boot? “Yes and no,” Ally said, “every striker wants to win the Golden Boot, but 16 goals in 16 games was pretty good.”
The versatile forward, who played out wide and through the middle last season with ACE, said he will get back into training in a couple of weeks to prepare for preseason.