Socceroo defender Alex Gersbach is eager to tackle the challenge of a new language, a new culture and a new style of football after signing a 6 month loan deal with French League 2 club RC Lens.
The 20 year old, Sydney born Gersbach, who first burst onto the scene in the A-League as a 17 year old with Sydney FC, has spent the last two seasons as a professional footballer with Norwegian’s champion team Rosenberg, where he made 34 appearances and celebrated winning back to back titles. However he now hopes a move south will give him the opportunity for more game time in a bid to win a coveted spot in the Socceroos World Cup squad that travels to Russia later this year.
Gersbach faces strong competition for the left back role in the Socceroos line up with Aziz Behich and Brad Smith also vying for that position. The speedy Gersbach who is capable of delivering quality crosses, has four senior Socceroo caps to his name having made his debut in 2016 against Greece, the country of his mother’s heritage.
Gersbach has already been to Russia with the Socceroos when he was a late inclusion to replace an injured Brad Smith in the Confederations Cup squad last year.
RC Lens is hoping that Gersbach can be a part of the club’s return to League One, a situation that occurred around 20 years ago when another former Socceroo, Robbie Slater, was at the club, and he was part of the club’s promotion back into the top tier.
RC Lens coach Coach Eric Sikora commented on the latest addition to his squad, “He is a left-back defender. He is young and has an interesting profile. He will be with us until the end of the season. His coming, it will not be to relieve Karim Hafez. In our group, there was competition everywhere, except for this position. Now it’s done! The last Australian who came here was Robbie Slater, a good pick. We were not disappointed with what he had done here. We hope it will be the same for Alex. “
Speaking on the RC Lens website, Gersbach told the club’s supporters, “I arrived last night at La Gaillette. It’s a new beginning in my career. I have ants in my legs! So far the reception has been very friendly. I visited Bollaert-Delelis. It’s a fantastic stadium. I cannot wait to play in front of our supporters! Lens was really interested in my coming. I knew it was a club that counted in French football. It’s a club that has a story with incredible fans. I was told that they were among the best in the country. I am really happy to be here. “
“It’s really exciting. I spent three years in Norway. I learned to love the country, the people, the culture. For France, it will be the same thing. I am eager to learn to speak the language and experience everyday life. It will be important to learn the basics of football vocabulary in French. I will work hard in the coming months. “
“I continue my studies of commerce. It takes me a lot of time. I spend a lot of time resting too. Otherwise, like young people, I play FIFA from time to time on my Playstation. “
“The aim now is to be playing regularly ahead of the world cup,” he said. “I had two good years at Rosenborg and want to thank the club, coaching staff and fans for my time there.”