Matthew Jurman is just 280 kilometres north of his beloved home town Dapto as he prepares for his A-League return.
And while the veteran's focus remains on playing for Newcastle this season, Jurman can't shake a nagging feeling. Wouldn't it be great to see his home region also represented on Australia's biggest football stage?
Jurman believes it's time for the Wollongong Wolves to get their chance.
"I'd love to see it. I think there's definitely a lot of juniors that are playing down there. There's been a fair few Socceroo boys who have come from there and I think they've got the support down there as well," he said.
"To be honest, they should have been in already. Hopefully they're the next ones to come in, though I'm not sure what's going on with expansion. But I definitely think a Wollongong team deserves to be in the A-League, and hopefully it's sooner rather than later."
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Jurman's football journey started at Dapto when he was four, before joining the Wolves in the under-11s. He remained with the club for several years before his family decided to move to Sydney in a bid to take his career to the next level. It was a gamble that paid dividends.
"I was obviously happy to be playing at the Wolves, then I got the opportunity to move to Parramatta Melita. At the back-end, they had a connection with Manchester United and a lot of players were coming to Parramatta," the 31-year-old said.
"I'm grateful for my parents to give me the opportunity to be able to do that by moving to Sydney and getting me into a sports school (Westfields). Without them, I wouldn't have been able to achieve my dreams."
Jurman's career has included stints at Sydney FC, the Roar and Wanderers, as well as playing for overseas clubs Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Al-Ittihad and Xanthi. He has also represented the Socceroos on eight occasions.
But the ongoing impact of COVID played a role in Jurman wanting to return to Australia. And the Jets were preparing to swoop.
"I had a few conversations with the boss (Arthur Papas) while I was still in Europe. The whole picture he was giving me and with the way he wanted to play, he wanted me to be part of it," he said.
"In football, you really don't know what's around the corner and it's hard to make plans. But it's funny, I've been here for two or three months now and it's pretty similar to Wollongong so it's been easy to settle in, even with everything going on with COVID."
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Jurman's capture continues a busy off-season for Newcastle, who have also brought in the likes of Michael Weier, Kosta Grozos and Jordan Elsey in a bid to rise up the ladder.
Jurman is confident the side will impress when the season kicks off next month.
"There are a lot of young players here who have great potential to start, and there's also a good mix of experienced and middle-aged boys ready to step up," he said.
"There's already a lot of competition for places for the start of the season."
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