Socceroos star Leckie confirms desire to leave Germany

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No Australian has clocked up as many years or games across Germany’s top two divisions as the 30 year-old.

Now, after nearly four years with Bundesliga club Hertha BSC, the quick wide-man is ready embrace “something new”.

Speaking from home isolation after an in-house COVID-19 outbreak forced the postponement of struggling Hertha’s next three Bundesliga games, Leckie told beIN SPORTS : “I think I’ll leave Germany, that’s something I want to do. Whether that’s to stay in Europe, or elsewhere, I’m not sure.

“I’ve been here 10 years and want something new. I’m sure something will come up.

“What’s most important for me is to be playing games, wherever it is.

“The A-League isn’t something that’s out of the question either, though I’m not saying it will happen.

“There are positives and negatives and I still think there are things I can achieve here in Europe.

“A big factor (regarding the A-League) is there is no coronavirus in Australia and that’s very appealing.

“I just have to see what’s best for me and my family.”

Thirsting for minutes, the ex-Adelaide United star - who almost joined Queens Park Rangers before heading to Hertha in 2017 - will make his decision predicated on first team prospects.

“I’m not saying I should be guaranteed to play wherever I go because I have to show my quality,” Leckie said. “But I want to go somewhere where I have the opportunity to play more than I do here (with Hertha).

Leckie has been granted just 290 Bundesliga minutes this season, with 12 of his 14 appearances coming off the bench.

“The scenario is that last year I was thinking of moving on but with Covid coming along there really weren’t that many options, certainly nothing that made sense,” he said. “So I decided to stay in Berlin and see my contract out. I’ve been playing here and there but nowhere near enough as I’d like.

“The club have spent a lot of money on a lot of players, and like any club who’ve done that they hope those players do well and can maybe be sold for more than they were bought for.

“I’ve missed out a lot - if you look at how we’ve struggled this season there hasn’t been much change in personnel.

“It is what it is. I understand how the football world works, and just waiting to see what comes in the future.

With the Socceroos in limbo for nearly 18 months it’s been a double hit.

“I’m really excited about our World Cup hub in Kuwait in June - it’s been a long time coming,” Leckie said. “It’s relieving to know we’re getting back together. We’ll go there with a strong mentality and should be able to get the job done.”

Asked the secret of his longevity in Germany, where he’s worn the colours of Borussia Mönchengladbach, FSV Frankfurt, Ingolstadt 04 and Hertha, Leckie replied: “There’s always the question when an Australian arrives here whether they can handle the situation, have the quality and can adapt to living away from home.

“You have to show what you can do and you need mental toughness.”

A degree of flexibility is also required, with Leckie adding: “I played 10 (Bundesliga) games for Gladbach but then I thought the best move for me was to go to the second league to get regular game time.

“I knew that here in Germany everybody is watching the second division as well and if you do well there you’ll have an opportunity to come back to the Bundesliga.”

A force of nature blessed with relentless endurance, Leckie still has plenty to give, wherever he goes.

Touching on those phenomenal physiological traits, he explained: “As a kid I did little athletics and I think that helped.

“I was naturally fast and it’s something I’ve worked on along with the endurance side of things, especially with the national team.

“In today’s football it’s all about sports science. It’s all about statistics, sprints, distance covered.

“That’s been a positive for me because I was in that direction anyway.”


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