To Europe and back again: Glover returns to Australia

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At only 14-years-old Tom Glover was travelling between Australia and England vying for a scholarship at powerhouse club Tottenham Hotspur.

By 15 the precocious talent had signed a contract with the Spurs, launching a football career poles apart from his junior experiences at the Sutherland Sharks in Sydney’s south.

“It’s so different over there. Europe, and England in particular, football is like a religion,” he said.

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The elite set-up at Tottenham shocked Glover, from the training facilities to flying on private jets and constantly being in the public eye.

“All the fame comes around it [playing in England]. You’re hanging with superstars, there’s media, there’s cameras, there’s press,” he said.

“If you’re not doing well you hear about it, when you’re doing well you hear about it as well. I was just used to going down and playing at my local club.”

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Now 21, the promising goalkeeper returns to Australia, signing with Melbourne City after loans to the Central Coast Mariners and Helsingborg in Sweden.

His decision to part ways with Tottenham was difficult he said as he thoroughly enjoyed the experience in Europe and the foundation it provided him.

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Ultimately he said the decision came down to securing more minutes on the park each week to further his development.

“Trying to play for Tottenham first team is pretty hard for a young keeper,” Glover said.

“I had a couple of options around the league and in Europe, and Melbourne City stuck out the most to me.

“I had several chats with Michael Petrillo [Melbourne City Director of Football] and it was all promising.”

In particular the European influence at City, which Glover has become accustomed to at English Premier League Club Tottenham, stood out to the rising star.

This stems from the club’s position in the City Football Group and the appointment of head coach Erick Mombaerts who has been a part of said system for several years.

“It does feel like you’re in Europe as soon as you walk through the gates,” Glover said.

“I definitely didn’t expect it. I’d heard good things but until you’re actually in it you don’t know for yourself.

“It’s probably better than some clubs in Europe. The coaching staff and the background staff, all the way to the kit man, the laundry people, the chef, it’s very, very professional.”

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Glover will have to battle Dean Bouzanis for the spot as the starting keeper who returns to City after a yearlong loan to Dutch club PEC Zwolle.

The young keeper hopes to use his time at Melbourne City as a stepping-stone towards returning to Europe in the future.

Yet while his long-term ambition is to play in Europe, his heart remains in Australia with hopes to play in the AFC U-23 Championship in Thailand this January, having appeared for the Olyroos three times before.

Feature Image Credit: Melbourne City

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Michael Patane
Student at Monash University and lover of all things football covering Melbourne City in 2019/20.