Jake signs with Sydney FC

June 12, 2022 by Jonathan Benjamin
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Jake Girdwood-Reich picked up Sydney FC’s Rising Star Award at the club’s annual awards night on the weekend.

Jake Girdwood-Reich rising star   Courtesy Football NSW

The tenacious and athletic 184cm midfielder has signed a two-year contract with the Sydney FC A-League team two weeks ago at the age of 17 after progressing through the ranks of the Sydney FC Youth and Senior Academy.  Prior to signing with the A League team, Jake was a starter in the Sydney FC NSW National Premier League Men’s team, the competition just below the A-League. He has a reputation for dominating the midfield play on the ground with his passing, tackling and intercepting abilities and in the air with his jumping ability. For many in recent years, he has been identified by his trademark mullet haircut.

Jake Girdwood-Reich
Photo: Courtesy Football NSW

Enthused by pick-up football games in the playground morning tea and lunch breaks, Jake played his junior football in the eastern suburbs with his local Clovelly Public School PSSA team and Queens Park FC both in competitions held at Queens Park. He played as a Clovelly Primary representative in the NSW primary school team which won the Australian schoolboys championship. Outside of school, he played for Sydney University AFC, Sydney Olympic FC and Scottish Premier Football League club St Johnstone FC (Scotland) academies in his junior career and his youth career with Apia Leichhardt Tigers U13s before going to Sydney FC Youth Academy. He played with Zvi Ben-David’s Mascot Vipers Futsal club until he had to retire to concentrate on football.

Jake has won many representative honours and competitions for NSW and Australia in football and futsal in his short career. His dream of a FIFA U17 World Cup football appearance was on track winning an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualifying tournament in Vietnam but the Covid19 pandemic saw the cancellation of the AFC finals and FIFA U17s World Cup in Peru. However, during some of the pandemic period there was a positive which was to regularly train with the Sydney FC A League team at Macquarie University Sports Park. His dream is to take up overseas opportunities if and when they arise to play in the UK and Europe in a few years. Jake had some options with other clubs domestically and overseas but he chose to stay with Sydney FC to develop his professional game further and the exciting opportunity to play in the new NSW Football Stadium at Moore Park where he had spent many years watching Sydney FC play A-league games with his local eastern suburbs mates.

When asked about his ambitions as a Sydney FC A-League player, Jake replied “I just want to be a little pest in the midfield to help win games for my team and to play more representative football for Australia”.  He looks forward to participating in the next A-League season starting in October 2022 and hopes everyone will come and enjoy the new stadium and support Sydney FC.

While receiving his Rising Star Award, Jake recognised the necessary and ongoing support of his family and many coaches. Jake’s quiet and even shy demeanour belies his competitiveness and determination to succeed in each and every football game.

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