How tennis set Lachlan Rose on the road to professional football

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Playing tennis at a young age instilled a mindset that guided Lachlan Rose to a spot in the A-League Men.

Rose’s upbringing with his father, a tennis coach, is at the forefront of the former NPL NSW player’s mentality.

“It’s obviously a difficult sport. You’re by yourself,” Rose explained. 

“It’s a mentally tough game. I’ve always grown up in a family where if things aren’t going right just stick at it and everything will work itself out. You’ve got to dictate it. Don’t let it affect you.

“My path was going to be different to other players. It wasn’t going to be a smooth sailing path and everyone’s journey to get to the professional football side is different.”

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The forward has been turned away plenty of times in his career but has never wavered from his footballing goal.

The 2022 Australia Cup winner says setbacks are motivation to improve rather than an indication of one’s ceiling. He saw not being retained at multiple clubs as a reflection of the need for further work on his game.

Like when you lose a point in tennis, you must move on to the next one quickly, according to Rose.

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“You’ve got to learn to get over things. In a game, you might make a mistake. You can’t draw on it because if you draw on it, you might make another mistake afterwards and by then you’ve made four mistakes, and you’re still thinking about the first one,” he added. 

“I think me not making it when I was younger in all these systems. I never made it into an A-League system when I was younger.

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It wasn’t because I wasn’t good enough. It was because I wasn’t ready.

“It drove me more to go and train and go and train before my training sessions and go and train after my training sessions, and that’s what pushed me to go ok I really wanna get there.

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I really need to push myself because not everything’s going to be handed to me on a plate.”

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Despite Rose receiving regular game time in the FNSW leagues system, in 2019 he rolled the dice heading over to England to further his career. There were no guarantees for Rose overseas as he jumped from club to club asking to train.

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Delving into the unknown away from familiarity, however, carrying with him his tennis-driven mentality.

“Going over by myself not having my family, it was tough,” he said.

“For me, that was a mentally challenging thing. I’ve just gone to another country. I knew no one over there. I’m the most Aussie kid you’ll ever meet, and I’ve gone stuff it. Let’s try and give this a crack. What’s the worst that can happen?”

Three years later, Rose is a mainstay in the Macarthur FC team. However, the 23-year-old is wary of the unpredictability of a football career after his time in England. He will not be resting on laurels. 

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“You have to remain focussed. You have to remain mentally tough in every situation because you never know when your opportunity is going to come,” he explained.

“I watched players whose contracts were expiring, and they were like, ‘Oh, what do I do now?’ 

“You have to be prepared for that. You have to go, ‘Look my contract’s done, I’ve finished, but I have to keep pushing myself because I need to get another contract’. 

“There are so many other players out there that want that as well.”

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Rose was in fine form in round two scoring the Bulls’ second in their 2-0 win against Adelaide United. It was the forward’s first goal of the 2022/23 ALM season.

Feature image credit: Macarthur FC

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Timothy Gibson
I am a student currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism/ Bachelor of Laws while writing football match reports and feature articles.

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