There’s a wealth of experience and accomplishment returning in 2021 to Nerang with English goalkeeper Harvey Rivers confirming his intent to play for the Eagles Premier League team again.
A young veteran of English football with an impressive resume already under his belt, 25-year-old Rivers already knows what it’s like to take home the silverware and take on challenges including over 300 games of senior football in his home country, playing for the England National Football C team (previously known as the England National Game XI and the England Semi-Pro national team) and helping his home-town club of Hereford FC to a premiership title and league promotion in 2015/16.
Rivers says he is eager to see the Eagles step it up a gear in the season ahead on the back of a frustrating 2020 year which was riddled with injuries, impacts and a string of unlucky results.
Whilst he admits that the standard of football here is not at the level he was accustomed to back home, Rivers says it’s about finding new ways to contribute in his role between the posts that centre around team success and the emerging young players at Nerang.
“Football over here is very different to England — the standard back home is very high, so [here] you have to create different challenges,” said Rivers.
“It’s not just about my own personal challenges; it’s bringing through the younger lads and helping them become first-team regulars, and as a team you always go out to win everything — that’s the challenge for me.”
2020 proved to be more of a transitional year for Harvey with his big shift from England to Australia, a false start at another club and a juggling act between his new work commitments and his football — all while weathering the start-stop nature of the Covid-impacted season we had here.
“On a personal level [over the off season] I’ve been working really hard to get back to full fitness and sharpness.
“Due to my job this year I couldn’t train at all, so was probably only playing at about fifty percent of where I should be.
“As a squad we suffered the most injuries I’ve ever seen in one squad in 2020, so keeping everyone fit in 2021 will be like having 10 new signings in the squad.
“Verny [Lee Vernon] and the boys have a proven track record, they’ve won titles for years, and if we hit anywhere near our potential we will be challenging for titles I am sure.”
Whilst the football standards may be a step down for Rivers, there’s no shortage of incentives for him to remain between the posts at Nerang and stay on in the Football Gold Coast Premier League for now.
“The lifestyle out here is incredible, it’s why I chose to come to the Gold Coast and it’s why I’m staying.
“It’s a different world to the lifestyle you live in England.”
The return of Rivers and a swathe of talented players signals the intentions the club and head coach Lee Vernon have for the 2021 Premier League season ahead — with the club and squad’s stability and raw potential proving to be an attractive drawcard for players in the region.
Nerang Soccer Club welcomes Harvey into the ranks for 2021 and wishes him and the squad all the success and luck in the campaigns ahead — looking forward to seeing him in action!