Burgess fires first A-League goals

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Max Burgess has opened his A-League scoring debut in remarkable style with not one, but three goals in Western United’s drought-breaking 6-2 win over the Central Coast Mariners.

The saying good things come to those who wait could not have rung truer for Burgess, as the former Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix attacking midfielder had gone goalless in his previous 44 A-League games.

The 25-year-old Burgess changed that jarring statistic on Sunday, in a spectacular 18-minute stint in which he found the back of the net three times.

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His coach Mark Rudan was unsurprisingly ecstatic with Burgess’ performance.

“It’s a great confidence booster and well-deserved as well,” he said.

“Max works extremely hard on his game.”

Beginning his season as a key member of manager Rudan’s substitution roster, as fate or luck would have it, Burgess’ move from the bench to the starting eleven came during the middle of the season when United last played the Mariners at GMHBA Stadium.

During that game, Burgess demonstrated a clear hesitation and uncertainty in his attacking abilities.

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Overthinking and going in for extra touches resulted in a goalless game for Burgess the last time United met the Mariners.

Yet despite scoring his first three A-League goals in one game, Rudan is confident Burgess can improve further.

“He’s a work in progress,” he said.

“He’s continued to work on his skill set, he’s got a lot of positive aspects to his game but there are things he can still work on.

“We keep challenging him every week, it’s going to come but he needs to make the right decisions.

“His decision making at times [is something he can work on], he could have pulled the trigger in the first five minutes but instead he decided to pass.

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“He can overcomplicate things, and over-complicate himself.”

The torrent of goals could not have come at a better time for the Green and Blacks who were creeping on four games without a goal.

When it rains it pours for United, with Burgess’ hat trick only counting for half of the goals scored through the match. The A-League’s all-time goal scorer Besart Berisha claimed two of his own and Andrew Durante got his second of the season.

With new life in their finals charge Western United next face Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium with the hopes of making their way into the top six.

Feature Image Credit: Western United

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Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season