Born in the UK, Mitch Oxborrow has spent a career that’s taken him all over Australia since moving here when he was young. Having played for three different Hyundai A-League clubs accumulating almost 50 A-League games, and also representing Australia in the youth ranks, Mitch already boasts an incredible and truly impressive football career despite only still being 24 years old. He’s now found his feet at Broadmeadow Magic who he helped win the NPL Northern NSW Grand Final with last season, and is the crux of all their game-plan in the heart of the midfield, shining in both attack, defence, set-pieces and even scores the odd goal. Mitch caught up with league correspondent Quentin, to find out more about his great career so far, what it was like to play in the A-League, and what his plans for the future are.
Where and when did you start your junior career and how did you progress into senior football?
Before moving to Perth, I started my junior football in England, but to be honest, it was so long ago I’m not sure what team I played for. My first local club in Perth was Sorrento FC, but I wasn’t there for too long. I moved to a club called ECU Joondalup and played there between the ages of 15 and 17. I then got recognised for the Australian Institute of Sport and spent 11 months there before securing a deal with the Newcastle Jets. I had 2 and a half seasons there where I made my debut in the A-League, but halfway through the second season, decided to move home to Perth. I was there in Perth for probably around the same time frame, and after that, I came to Magic for 10 games and was fortunate enough to go up to Brisbane Roar. That didn’t end up working out for me after a season, which mean I came back to Magic and here I am today at this great club.
What player has been one of your favourite players to play with and you have admiration for? Why?
My favourite player I’ve ever played with, without a doubt, is Diego Castro. He’s from another planet. The things he can do is just not fair if you’re playing against him.
I also have a lot of admiration for Ruben Zadkovich too. His positive attitude towards everything and his work ethic, is like nothing I’ve seen before and that’s why he plays such an important role in my life.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not playing football?
In my spare time I don’t do much to be honest. Working five days a week takes it’s toll by Friday, so I usually just go for a feed the night before a game and then have a couple of cheeky beers after.
You moved to Newcastle around 2012 and despite leaving on a few occasions, you’ve returned. What is it about Newcastle that you enjoy and keeps you coming back?
I love the vibe of Newcastle and I made a lot of close friends though my first period here. Playing for Magic and Ruben is the main reason I’m here. But Magic is a terrific club and have looked after me more than I could ever imagine.
You spent quite a few years playing in the A-League, what was like? Both the good and the bad?
The A-League didn’t really work out for me. I struggled to get consistent game time and had a couple of injuries too, but that’s football. There a lot of fantastic players in the A-League, but it’s just not for me anymore, that’s for sure. I’m happy where I am and I’m enjoying my football.
Most recently, you spent time playing with Brisbane, but returned to Magic where you won the Championship, where did that win rank for you in terms of your career?
Winning the Grand Final was a special moment for the club, myself and everyone involved. We worked so hard to get to the final, and we knew nothing was going to stop us from winning that game. The win feels even better when you have such a close-knit group who all want to work for each other and have a winning mentality.
Most memorable moment(s) of your career so far?
The most memorable moment would be representing Australia at the U/17s World Cup. Scoring the only goal I got in the A-League was also very special too. I’ll never forget that feeling.
Also, of course, winning last year’s Grand Final was awesome too because, like I said, we have such a good group of boys which made it so special.
Most influential person in your career?
There’s no one more influential in my life, let alone my football career, than my dad. He’s my role model and if I become half the father he is, I’ll be happy with that. There’s been plenty of times where football was tough, and Dad has told me to just keep going. I don’t think I’d be playing football today if it wasn’t for him.
What are you hoping to achieve for this year’s season? Individually and as a team.
Of course, the goal is to win the premiership and championship and go as far as possible in the FFA Cup – a good cup run would be nice. My individual goal is just to help in anyway I can, but mainly with creating chances and scoring some goals here and there wouldn’t be too bad either.
What’s your plans for the future of your career? Where are you hoping to progress?
I don’t have plans for the future. This is the first time in my life I’m just seeing where life takes me as football has always decided where I was going and when. I decided after I left Brisbane Roar to take a step back, enjoy my life and see what happens. In saying that, football is a funny game and anything can happen.