Change but no holiday for Erik

After four years plying his trade in the Scottish leagues, Brisbane Roar’s Erik Paartalu said his time so far in the Hyundai A-League has been a welcome change.

After four years plying his trade in the Scottish leagues, Brisbane Roar-s Erik Paartalu said his time so far in the Hyundai A-League has been a welcome change.

In 2006, the defensive midfielder left Australia to sign for Scottish Division One outfit Gretna and held a regular slot in the starting eleven that won promotion to the Scottish Premier League in the 2006/07 season.

Paartalu also played for Stirling Albion, and most recently, Greenock Morton, where he caught the eye of Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou, who was his coach when he represented Australia at U17 level.

“It-s been great so far,” the 24-year-old said.

“Obviously our first three games have been pretty successful and it-s a pleasure to play alongside the guys who have been here for a while and know the game inside out.

“Along with the boys that have joined, we-re creating a good blend of players and a good balance to the side, so it-s great to be a part of it.”

For Paartalu, the difference in training has been immense, which has meant a slight change in his approach.

“Training in Scotland, it-s sleeting and it-s cold and you-ve got to wear a couple of layers, but here shorts and a shirt is fine,” he said.

“In this heat, it-s even more important to look after yourself and keep the fluids up.

“We-ve been working pretty hard and it-s been quite hot this week so it-s been good conditioning for what-s going to be a long, hot summer in Brisbane.”

Looking ahead to the weekend-s clash against Newcastle Jets, the Sydney-born midfielder said the key to maintaining the momentum from their past two games was to keep it simple.

“I think we-ve got to be solid, defensively first and foremost, and not stray away from our game plan which is to keep the ball moving around quickly and nullify their threats,” he said.

“We-ve got to keep it solid and make teams work for the full 90 minutes, which is what we-ve been good at so far.”

Paartalu said he-s been impressed with the way the team has conducted themselves on the training pitch.

“It-s been good this week, today-s session was pretty tough but we need those types of sessions,” he said.

“The training pitch has been great, and it-s been good to move the ball quickly on the surface.

“We haven-t rested on our laurels, we had a good result on Friday night but we-re not getting carried away with it.”

Brisbane Roar travel south to take on Newcastle Jets on Sunday 5 September. Kickoff is at 3pm at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle.

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