Aussies Abroad: Busch finally finds a home

Beau Busch has been to more clubs than he cares to remember since heading to Europe, but has finally found a home in Scotland.

Scottish third-tier side Arbroath was probably not what Australian defender Beau Busch had on his mind when he packed his bags and headed to the United Kingdom to further his football career.

But the 27-year-old defender has settled in well at the club, after a run of trials saw him spend time at Crewe Alexandra, Cheltenham Town, Wrexham and Ross County.

Busch had impressed at Ross County - who play in the second division in Scotland - and he was set to sign a contract after his month-long trial.

On the verge of signing though, then-manager Willie McStay parted the club and Busch got tired of being on trial.

He decided to head back to England with his career at the crossroads. The defender, who had been in the form of his life before the North Queensland Fury ceased to exist in the A-League was unsure of his next move.

That was until former Fury assistant Stuart Petrie, who arranged his initial trial at Ross County came calling.

"I had a few options to go on trial but to be honest I didn't massively have the heart to go through all of that again," Busch said.

"I had also burned through a lot of money so I didn't really have the funds to take myself on trial again.

I spoke to Stuart and they were keen for me to play at Arbroath. I was just desperate to earn some money again. Arbroath ticked those boxes, I get to live in Edinburgh and be back playing which was the main thing."

The well-spoken Busch, who is also a qualified journalist is enjoying his football and believes he is starting to come to grips with the more demanding style of play in Scotland.

"It's been really enjoyable," he said.

"I started the season really well and felt great. Then unfortunately I got injured and did a medial knee strain.

"I came back into the league season after missing a few games and I struggled a little bit to adapt just because it is so much more physical and more direct than back home.

"I was constantly under pressure having to head the ball and make last-ditch tackles. Over here they play a lot of really big target-men and a lot of teams just launch the ball to them.

"It's a much, much different style. It took me a while to come to grips with it, but since January I have felt quite good."

Arbroath have impressed this season and sit just one point behind table-toppers Cowdenbeath.

Busch believes his side 'definitely have the capabilities' to win the title and secure promotion and hinted towards the result being sealed when Arbroath meet the competition leaders in the second-last game of the season.

The club might be part-time but after a long journey, Busch is finally playing again and his pleasure in that is obvious.

Getting paid to play in Europe is something he dreamed of since being a boy.

Stints with the Broadmeadow Magic, Newcastle Breakers, Central Coast, Marconi and Manly United made up the early days of his football career before Newcastle United signalled their interest in Busch in 2008.

For him it was a no-brainer, with the chance to represent his hometown club in the A-League understandably appealing.

But after turning down the chance to train with Sydney FC, Busch's promised three-month contract never eventuated.

"While I was at Manly I got contacted by Gary van Egmond (Newcastle manager) about whether I'd be interested in a three-month injury replacement contract with the club which I agreed to.

"I saw it as a big opportunity to be at Newcastle and I was really excited. I left my job as a journalist and left Manly but there was no contract presented, despite having agreed to one with Gary and constantly asking where it was.

"I kept getting assured that it was all fine and it was going to get sorted. But in the end I made the decision that it wasn't.

"I was pretty gutted because I thought I had stuffed everything up. I had a good job with a newspaper in Newcastle and was enjoying it at Manly.

Luckily Phil Moss (Busch's old coach at Manly) got in touch with John Kosmina who said it was still fine to go and train with Sydney.

"I spent two weeks training with them and did quite well. At the same time Tony Popovic got injured and Iain Fyfe got sent off so they were after a player and I signed. That was a really good experience.

Busch then moved onto North Queensland, a spell which he says was the best time he has had in football.

"I enjoyed it up there with a really great bunch of guys. I can honestly say I've not enjoyed football as much as I have up there. All the supporters up there were brilliant. All the boys were really close."

When the Fury ceased to exist, Busch returned to Manly United before heading to Europe.

What followed were a series of trials that had their highlights, but were also demanding as he constantly searched for the security a contract would give him.

"When I first got over here it was arranged for me to go to Crewe Alexandra. They had seven centre-half-s already so I was pretty certain that things weren't in my favour. I was there for two weeks anyway which was good."

"We had a game against Stoke who played Kenwyne Jones, Jonathan Walters, Rory Delap so that was really enjoyable."

"I went from there to Cheltenham to train. I was there for about a month and they were great, even letting me play a few (reserve) matches against West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City.

"To play against guys like Kevin Phillips who you had watched in the English Premier League from when you were quite young was great. That was an experience I'll remember forever and to play those few games almost made everything worthwhile."