"I had gone to England when I was still 15 — I turned 16 when I was trialling over there with Bolton," the new Australia cap told the Sunday Age. "They had sent a scout out to Westfield High (the famous sports school in Sydney, alma mater to, among others, Harry Kewell) and had given me my chance.
"I was there through the youth teams and in the first-team squad regularly, training with them all the time. Football is a game of opinions. If a manager is keen, you are in with a big chance."
But the contrary is also true. Allardyce liked the Australian, but Gary Megson didn't fancy him.
"Things changed when Big Sam went and it didn't work out for me, but that's how it is in the game — it's all about opinions. I was in the squad under Allardyce, not under Megson. But I think I have learned a lot from the whole experience and become a much better person and player as a result."