Q and A with Jack Hingert

Even at just 21 years of age, Jack Hingert has seen more in his football career than many footballers ever experience.

Even at just 21 years of age, Jack Hingert has seen more in his football career than many footballers ever experience.

The London-born defender spent four years learning his trade at the Crystal Palace youth academy before stints with lower tier side Peterborough and Victorian Premier League side Dandenong Thunder led him to his Hyundai A-League deal with North Queensland Fury.

Hingert-s form saw him become a mainstay in the Fury eleven before unfortunate circumstances at the end of the 2010/11 season saw the club close down.

Faced with the prospect of life without a Hyundai A-League contract, Hingert returned home to Melbourne to play with his former club at state league level before Brisbane Roar came calling in the pre-season.

While the young full-back has made just seven appearances for the Roar this season, he-s shown on each occasion that he is fitting and worthy of the orange jersey.

Here, Hingert talks about his experiences with Crystal Palace and the Fury as well as explaining the reasons why he decided to sign for Brisbane.

Brisbaneroar.com.au caught up with Hingert on Thursday morning to ask your chosen questions from Facebook and Twitter.

1. Growing up, who was your favourite player and which team did you support?

I-m going to have to say Gianfranco Zola. I grew up with my dad and all my family supporting Chelsea, we used to go to all the games because I lived in England when I was younger. Zola had a bit of magic about him and I loved watching him play. I still support Chelsea and I-m always going to - even if they-re not doing so well at the moment! Growing up in England, I loved watching all the English boys play, John Terry, Frank Lampard and everyone. As a fullback, I also love watching Ashley Cole. I-m probably preferred on the right side and he-s on the left but I still like watching how he plays, the runs he makes and how he gets forward.

2. When did you realise that being a professional footballer was a real possibility for you and what did you do to make sure it happened?

I-ve always wanted to be a footballer, ever since I was young. If you ever asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I-d always say ‘be a footballer-, that-s it. If anyone asked about anything otherwise, I wouldn-t know because for me, it-s always been about football. I signed for Crystal Palace when I was eleven and that gave me a thought that this could really happen. My dad played semi-pro when he was younger and because he didn-t make it professionally, he pushed me harder to make it. It was a big thing in the family. When I signed for Crystal Palace, it became a bit more real and thought that it most likely could happen. Even at school, you get to an age where people start going to parties and start drinking but I was never like that. I-d obviously hang out with my friends after school but I-d never do that stuff. If I wasn-t a footballer, no idea what I-d be doing. I guess something to do with sport. Before I went to the Fury, I started a course at uni which was to do with sport but I didn-t really enjoy it. It-s just always been in my head that I want to be a footballer.

3. When the North Queensland Fury folded last year, were you confident of regaining a Hyundai A-League contract elsewhere?

There-s always a bit of doubt. In the off-season, I went back to Melbourne to play in the state league again and that-s when it hit me. I used to think, ‘imagine if something doesn-t happen again and I have to keep playing state league-. It was a hard time but I guess in the back of my mind, I always thought it wasn-t too bad because I was still pretty young and there was a chance that another A-League club would be interested. Playing as many games as I did with the Fury last season was good but you always have your doubts. When something like that hits you, it can be hard but all you can do is to keep playing, even if you do have to go back to state league or something for a while. You have to be confident you can get another opportunity to make it somewhere else. You-ve just got to keep your head up and keep working hard and something else will come up. You-ve got to keep at it and keep doing what you-re doing. I still keep in contact with a lot of the Fury boys, there was a group of about six or seven of us that would hang out every day - mainly the younger boys, me, Isaka Cernak, Brad McDonald, Osama Malik, Chris Payne. We-re all over the place now. A lot of us younger boys got contracts at other clubs but we still keep in contact. When we play against each other, we still try and hang out when we can. We-re all still close and speak to each other a lot.

4. You-ve played for a few different clubs. Which experiences have you seen as most valuable?

Obviously, Crystal Palace was pretty valuable to me. Being involved with a professional club helps you improve a lot, getting to know the game and learning what it takes to become a player in the first team. That was one of the most valuable experiences to me. I was there for four years and it was unbelievable to be honest. Again, Fury was valuable to me, playing in the A-League. It was good for us young boys getting a few games as well. If I hadn-t had the chance to go to Fury, I probably wouldn-t be here either. My A-League debut probably wasn-t the best - it was against Kofi [Danning]. He scored against me so it probably wasn-t my best game! That day, I hated him but we-re pretty close now. I think he knows how I felt, I-ve told him before!

5. Reportedly, you rejected offers from other clubs to sign for Brisbane. Is this true and what was it about the Roar that made you put pen to paper here?

I had the opportunity to go to Wellington as well. I had to make a choice between Brisbane or Wellington and I chose Brisbane because I wanted to concentrate on improving as a player and to think about what was best for me. I think the coaching here under Ange [Postecoglou], Rado [Vidosic] and Kenny [Stead] would have given me the best opportunity to improve as a player. Being amongst the champions and having all these great players around you, only helps you improve more as well. It was maybe at the expense of some game time but I definitely do not regret signing for Brisbane. I feel like I-ve improved in the short time I-ve been here and I think I-m only going to keep improving. I-m definitely happy with the choice I made.

6. We-ve seen you play in a few different areas on the pitch. Which is your preferred position?

Definitely right-back but either full-back really, right or left. But I don-t mind playing as a winger either, I love getting forward. I think it-s always good to be able to do a job in a few positions because it can help you in terms of getting picked for the squad. It-s good to have the gaffer know you can do a few different jobs. I haven-t really scored too many goals, when I was younger I used to because I used to be a striker. Haven-t scored too many since I became a full-back so I think I need to start scoring again, it-s been too long! It-s definitely something I want to get into my game.

7. Who are the funniest players in the squad and what do they get up to?

Most of the boys do have quite a bit of banter! For me, probably players like Massimo [Murdocca], Brattsy [Luke Brattan]… even Rocky [Visconte], [Matt] Mundy and Redders [Andrew Redmayne]. There-s quite a few funny boys in there! We all give each other a bit of stick and we all have our little jokes that we bag each other about. Brattsy does take the mickey a lot, he-s probably one of the main ones - the instigator I-d say! I live with two of the youth boys, Jason [Geria] and Tommy [Cirjak] but it-s mostly at training and in the changing room and on Facebook and Twitter that all the jokes happen. We have a great bunch of boys here and it-s good to have some banter going on. To be honest, I think it-s mostly the younger boys that play the jokes and I think the older boys would say that too! If we do get it, we have to cop it on the chin though because we do dish it out a lot.

8. What are your favourite things to do outside of football?

I like the sun but with football, you have to be careful. We do go in our pool a little bit and hang out with the other boys when we-ve got time off. We do need some time to relax, usually going out to get something to eat or something. You can-t go wrong with a bit of Playstation - FIFA, Call of Duty, there-s a few games we play. Living with Jas and Tommy, it-s good. When you come from a different state, it-s good to live with some of the other boys because you can do stuff together and it makes it easier for you so you-re not doing things by yourself all the time. There-s a lot of stuff to do around Brisbane, just depends what we feel like on the day, but just as long as we-re together. Even if we-re at home doing nothing, if we-re all together, it-s fun anyway. In Townsville, it was that way too. We used to do the same sorts of things and play a bit of basketball too. We had a basketball hoop out the front of our house. I lived with Osama Malik and Chris Payne and Brad McDonald lived next door. Townsville was so small, everyone is five minutes away so it-s easy to have everyone together to hang out. We-d all be together - sometimes it would be about six of us trying to cook dinner together.