If things had turned out a little differently, Alex Gersbach could be now preparing for a big cricket match than tearing up the Hyundai A-League with Sydney FC.
The dashing left-back was also a fine cricketer in his junior days, making the NSW Emerging squad as both a batsman and spin bowler.
Thankfully he chose football and it has been cricket’s loss, with the 18-year-old one of the best young footballers in the country.
It’s been some 12 months for the Sky Blues defender, from juggling his HSC exams around making his A-League debut to impressing “The Special One” Jose Mourinho.
And if his early-season appearances for the Sky Blues are anything to go by, things are only going to get better for the marauding left-back.
Gersbach burst onto the scene at that start of last season, making his debut in the season-opener against Melbourne City at just 17 years of age.
He didn’t look out of place.
The speedy fullback has gone on to become a valuable member of the Sky Blues squad and has carried his eye-catching form into the new campaign.
In just five appearances, the 18-year-old has provided two assists, made eight key passes and 17 interceptions, not to mention winning almost 85 percent of aerial duels.
It’s no wonder Gersbach is this month’s nomination for NAB Young Footballer of the Year.
Gersbach has worn the green and gold at both under-17 and 20 level and his surging runs down the flank should come as no surprise, with Harry Kewell and Cristiano Ronaldo two of his big idols.
Outside of football, Gersbach has designs on one day becoming a sports journalist.
For now he’ll have to settle with being the subject of the story rather than the author with a big playing career ahead for this exceptional young talent.