Hi there, I’m Kristian Brymora and I am the author and owner of OnTheBall blog. Here on OnTheBall I want to share with you my story about my journey in football, what I have learnt along the way, and how my life experiences and mistakes are what have made me into not only a better football player but also stronger person.
My website is the home of where I share my journey with others around the world. I write about my journey in professional football, the challenges and adversity faced, and steps taken to becoming a better footballer. I want to show younger and upcoming players aspiring to be footballers about the challenges which can be faced and the adventure that comes with chasing a dream no matter how big or small.
For being 21 years old, I have travelled around the globe experiencing many challenges and hardships through my path of football, but ultimately, I have learnt so much and become a stronger and more resilient footballer and person. That is why I want to share my journey so they YOU may be able to learn from what I have done.
Now let’s get into a little bit about me, shall we?
Being a professional footballer has always been a dream of mine ever since I was a young boy. To this day, I have continued to keep striving to improve to be the best person and footballer I can be. I have created OnTheBall to give people from far and wide the opportunity to see and experience the adventures, experiences and get a better understanding to the wider world of football. You can be sure that there is plenty of great and exciting blogs to come in the near future!
Growing up in a family of six with 3 brothers, we were always competitive against each other. There has never been a time where I cannot remember turning anything into a competition between us all. Football has always been at the top of my list for being the most competitive in.
Let’s turn back time and go right back to the start of where it all began, Oberon.
For those of you who don’t know, Oberon is a small country town in NSW with a population of approx. 2500 people. At the age of 3 years old I had begun kicking away and playing. I know that it may seem hard to remember but from that point forward I knew what I had wanted to do from a young age.
Next stop was from the country town to beach side, Newcastle. Newcastle is and always will be my home. I grew up in a place called Lake Macquarie with a big lake and the beach only 15 minutes away. I couldn’t think of a better place to have grown up.
During my junior years I had begun playing football from Warners Bay Panther. They were a local team near home which is where I made many close friends still to this day. From here I had eventuated to playing for the local representative side, Lake Macquarie Rep which then also led to play for the junior development program, Northern New South Wales.
The start of the teenage years was a difficult period, having so many injuries and being overworked at a young age. These combined could have led to long term damage on my body. This was a tough period being still so young but with so much ambition. These are challenges which are faced by many young kids growing up because that’s just the nature of our bodies developing at a young age. For any young striving footballers out there, take my word knowing that things will work out in the near future. These things take time, so be patient, look after your body and before you know it you will be kicking on right where you left off.
Over the following years, the Newcastle Jets Academy program had just begun, and I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the first year. From that point I was a part of the Newcastle Jets program from U15’s through to U18’s before joining the Youth Team. Coming into an environment being trained by elite coaches, I very quickly learnt that this pathway is all about being earn. Nothing is football is given to you. It come through dedication, hard work, and perseverance to wanting to become the best player possible, and that’s exactly what I did. Over the years I had achieved the golden boot award in three years in a row including my first year in the men’s National Premier League Division.
I made my first professional debut at 17 years against Melbourne Victory in. the FFA cup round of 32 playing 25 minutes, receiving 4 stitches and a yellow card within the first 5 minutes.
My first professional overseas trip was with the Newcastle Jets to China in August 2016. A truly great experience which opened my eyes to the diverse world of not only football but another culture much different to ours. I had the opportunity to play against Chinese League One side Liaoning FC, Hong Kong Side Eastern FC scoring my first professional goal. On return from our trip away in China I had earnt my place and received my first ever professional contract with my hometown club. This has to have been one of my proudest moments in life knowing that all the hard work and dedication of the years was starting to pay off, but the hard work didn’t stop there.
After a hard year of grit and determination, only being involved in one football match, I had decided to pursue the dream of playing football in Europe.
And that’s exactly what I did.
In June 2018, after finalising my year at the Newcastle Jets, I bought a one-way ticket to London, England to put myself amidst what is known as the home of world football. Now before going further, I cannot stress enough the challenges and adversity which had been faced on this adventure, yet the rewards and experiences which came from perusing a lifelong dream.
To say I didn’t know what I was getting myself into is an understatement. I very quickly learnt what life is about and having to grow up very quickly in a city which never sleeps and not knowing anyone. After two weeks of couch surfing and hostel staying, I had officially received my first opportunity with Premier League side, Watford Hornets FC in North West London. I had very quickly learnt that football isn’t just a game, its people’s lives on the line. It was another level to football here and I knew I had to prove to everyone I had what it took.
I spent two weeks amongst the Premier League club giving everything I had to sign my second deal there, but Watford FC just wasn’t my place to be. It was a great learning experience and adventure to say the least, but it was definitely a difficult outcome to handle on my own. Faced with a wall of adversity, I knew that I couldn’t stop here. Not when I have come so far to be told no. Next up, Millwall FC.
Millwall is located in South East London, playing in the English Championship. I am a very determined person who had overcome one challenge of being told no, and it sure was going to happen again. I was on trial at Millwall FC for a total of three weeks, travelling two and a half hours to get to and from training every day. I was more determined than ever. Upon my first game in the three-week trial I had scored a hattrick which I knew was exactly what I had to do to prove my worth. And before you knew it, I had achieved what I set out to do, sign for a professional club in England.
Over the next 12 months, I was provided with opportunities and challenges playing and scoring against some of the best teams in England including, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Leeds United and more. My time at Millwall FC was some of the toughest physically and mentally times but also the most rewarding the opportunities of being able to show case my skills on the biggest stage in England.
My next challenge presented itself in Sweden, playing for Hassleholm IF in the Swedish Second Division. Hassleholm is a town about one and a half hours north east of Malmo by train. It has a population of around 50 000 people and take my word, not a very big English-speaking area. Not only did I have the challenge of achieving my goals on the park, but also off the park trying to fit into a community without knowing the language, and it’s fair to say Swedish is not an easy language to learn.
Sweden was all about experiencing football in another country with a culture only known to itself. 19 games 10 goals during my time there, off the park was a completely different adventure. My only vehicle of transportation was by bike riding 8.5km to and from training every day in sunshine, rain, hail, snow and darkness. These times were some of the harder times because I had to give myself constant reminders of why I was there and what I was out to achieve in life. I felt obligated to giving myself the best opportunity possible, and to not give up.
In January 2019, my time in Sweden had come to a conclusion with the club taking a different direction in their endeavours, which meant I needed to embrace my next opportunity, and lucky for my that opportunity had presented itself on my home doorstep playing for Broadmeadow Magic FC.
Returning home and playing for Broadmeadow Magic was a perfect opportunity to not only continue developing my football under a great coach and club, but to also reset my mind and analyse my time overseas, what I had learnt and what I needed to take away from it moving forward into the next stage of my footballing career.
Moving forward a year bringing us to today, that next step was moving to Melbourne putting myself amongst some of the best Australian talent there is. The Victorian National Premier League is the place for exposure, opportunities, and development can all come together in one. I have currently put pen to paper signing to a professional contract for Green Gully SC. This is where I know I will continue to develop, get game time, and drive to become a better person and player.
Listening is the most important tool to moving forward. Listen to everyone and make you actions louder than words. – Kristian Brymora
Chasing a dream is not mean to be an easy road. If it were to be easy you would be there already don’t you think? But that’s the thing, if you really believe in it you would do everything in your power to achieve it. I believe that living in a world thinking that you can control everything is what stops many people from getting where they want to be. Worrying about things that are out of your hands is wasted time, valuable time able to be invested in bettering yourself.
I don’t just write about things. I want to be able to tell a story of what happens throughout a footballer’s journey. I want to be able to share the habits I learn along the way. In the end, my writing ends up being one-part storytelling, one-part professional footballer and one-part human. It’s a blend of inspirational journeys and things that I have learnt along the way that has made me who I am today.
I share a footballers journey and tips on becoming a professional footballer player on OnTheBallBlog.com and also share my personal journey on my Instagram @kristianbrymora and @on_theball. Be sure to subscribe to OntheBallblog.com as there are many more up and coming adventures, tips and stories coming soon.
I still have a lot to learn along the way myself, but I want to share with what I have learnt along the way. Be sure to click the “follow” button in the bottom right corner to subscribe and stay updated with what is to come next.
Let’s build something together.