Jack Iredale: Cambridge United, Carlisle and playing against Lewis Morgan

You signed for Cambridge United in 2020. How are you enjoying your time at the club so far and how would you describe the club?

Well, obviously we have started really well during the season so far and I have loved my time at the club so far. The changing room is full of great lads and I get on well with the Gaffer and the assistant coach and the rest of the management team too.

It has been a positive start for myself and I managed to get settled really quickly with a place to stay because it was quite weird jumping on the airplane from Australia and quarantining for two weeks and things managed to happen quite quickly and that made things easier for me to settle in and get going.

I have played basically every game since I signed for the club. In terms of a club it has been difficult to get a feel of what it is like when the fans are in because we have only had one game where were allowed 1000 fans in attendance but I can imagine that Cambridge United are super important with the community and I know that they do a lot of community work when they are able to and for the community it is important that them to have a club such as Cambridge United.

You came through the youth setup at Perth Glory FC in Australia. How do you look back on your time at the club and did you learn anything in particular which stood you in good stead for your career as a professional footballer?

I spent many years at Perth Glory FC and it was really tough to break into the first team and that was one of the reasons that I left and had to come abroad. I did not make any professional appearances for the club but I made a couple of friendly and pre-season appearances.

I was one of the younger lads coming through the club and you always do a lot of your learning when you are a young boy coming through and being around a first team environment and training with the caliber of players that they had at the club at the time and it just made my realize the difference between youth football where it is a lot about your development, the style of play and how you go about things and then moving straight into purely results based business which is a big mentality shift for a young player coming through.

You played one season for Carlisle United. How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any particular highlights or memories?

Credit: Carlisle United

I started and played most of the games for Carlisle United in the first half of the season when Steven Pressley was the manager and it was my first experience of English football.

I absolutely loved it to be fair the amount of games that you play with the Saturday, Tuesday fixtures in League Two meant that I was loving that and then there was a management change and it did not quite happen for me but that is football and then the COVID thing happened and that just put a complete spanner in the works and I returned to Australia.

I really did enjoy my time at Carlisle United especially the first half of the season and the amount of games that I was able to play.

You have accrued a lot of experience in Australia, Scotland and now England could you say who are among the best players you have played alongside so far in your career?

Yes, A couple spring to mind the first would be Wes Hoolahan here at Cambridge United and his career speaks for itself and even at the age of 38 you cans still see when he has the ball at his feet that he is just on a different level in the way that he thinks about the game and the way he can control the ball. Diego Castro when I played for Perth Glory.

He played in La Liga in Spain for Getafe CF before he came to Perth and he was just next level as well and you could never get the ball off him. Those two players stand out and also at Carlisle United we had a player called Nathan Thomas who was on loan at the club from Sheffield United and on his day he could just tear teams apart.

I can imagine in your position as a defender that you have come up against some difficult opponents throughout your career so far, could you say which opponents have stood out for you in terms of talent and ability?

Credit: St Mirren Football Club

Yes, There is a couple of opponents that I do think about one of them would be from my time in Scotland playing for Greenock Morton and we played a game against St Mirren and they had a boy on the wing named Lewis Morgan who went on to play for Celtic FC and now he is playing in the MLS for Inter Miami.

He was a really good player and then last season in League Two a couple of wingers really stood out. Randell Williams at Exeter City was difficult to mark and Daniel Powell of Crewe Alexandra and he was just so strong and so quick that it made it a really tough afternoon spending a lot of time trying to chase after him.

Finally Jack, Could you say who are the coaches and managers who have meant a lot to you and played a key role in your development as a professional footballer in your career so far?

I have been quite lucky that the clubs that I have signed for that they have all had really good managers. Growing up in my youth development the most important manager that I had was a guy called Kenny Lowe and he had me from the age of 13 to 16 and then age when he became Perth Glory first team manager and I was coming through the ranks. He was massively important to my development growing up.

At Greenock Morton Jim Duffy was the manager who gave me my first professional contract and he was super important to me in helping me get my foot in the door in the UK and really start my career.

Steven Pressley was fantastic at Carlisle United and now here at Cambridge United I am working under Mark Bonner who is a young manager but you can tell that he really does have a lot of experience in the game in the way that he plans out his tactics and team talks. The stuff that he speaks about during the team meetings pan out during the games and it is really good to have a manager like that who is good in that sense but also good with his man management and knows how to communicate well with players which I think is really important.

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