He may have had an unconventional start to his career, but youngster Jordan O'Doherty has quickly become one Wanderer to watch.
Joining the club during the off -season this year from Adelaide United, Wanderer Jordan O’Doherty has cemented himself in the Wanderers starting XI and has become a symbol of the next generation of Red & Black.
Born in Palma de Mallorca in Spain, O’Doherty migrated with his family as a youngster to South Australia, which is also where his football career started as a junior.
“My family’s actually from Europe so we moved over when I was four year’s old and we just sort of went into the South Australian League there,” explained O’Doherty.
“We didn’t really know anything about it so up until 12-years-old, I was playing in the amateur league and played for a couple of clubs there.
“My main junior club was Adelaide Croatia Raiders.” O’Doherty’s breakthrough into the Hyundai A-League system was unconventional to say the least, having been plucked out of the amateur league and being thrown into the professional football environment at only 15 year’s of age.
“My pathway was probably a bit absurd compared to most players that are playing in the Hyundai A-League,” said O’Doherty.
“So I didn’t go through the system, I didn’t do the state teams and that.
“I made my debut in the National Premier League in South Australia when I was 15 and played a whole season there.
“It was at that point when I got into the youth team at Adelaide United, I played there for a bit, after the NPL season there.
“(Former Adelaide United Coach) Guillermo Amor signed me with the senior team on my first scholarship deal so that was the little pathway for me to get to the senior team.”
O’Doherty went on to make 28 appearances for Adelaide and scored one goal.
Prior to joining the Red & Black this season, the 21-year-old talented midfielder admitted he had a bit of a soft spot for the club and often watched matches for the passionate members and fans that now cheer him on.
“Before I even started playing football for the club, I used to enjoy watching the Wanderers mainly for the crowd, you know when they first came into the league, I thought the crowd was unbelievable,” said O’Doherty.
“I think everyone could say that they brought the best atmosphere.
“Back at when the club was at Pirtek Stadium, I always enjoyed watching the club just for that.
“Obviously during my time at Adelaide, I came up against the club a couple times and we always had good crowds and they showed a lot of passion.”
“When I first found out there was an opportunity to come here, I was very excited, especially because of that.”
O’Doherty has been part of a new guard of Wanderers that have been shaping the future path of the club.
Dominating the midfield with fellow youngster, Keanu Baccus, O’Doherty has been an instrumental piece in the Wanderers campaign since making his Hyundai A-League debut for the club in the first Sydney Derby of the season.
“I’ve enjoyed my time so far at the club and I’ve settled in nicely,” said O’Doherty.
“The boys are really welcoming and everyone else at the club has been welcoming as well. “It was an honour to put the shirt on for the very first time (at the Sydney Derby) and like I said, I love the fans.”
Looking towards the future, O’Doherty is determined to make his mark at the club and win some silverware.
“Look I think mainly we just want to work hard as a team because we all want to win something here,” said O’Doherty.
“The club deserves to win something. Obviously, the Wanderers have won trophies before but we’re really striving for some Hyundai A-League silverware.
“I think we’re showing good signs and we’re working hard as a team day in and day out
“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.” And since this is only the beginning of O’Doherty’s impact at the Wanderers, there’s no doubt that there’s plenty more good things to come.