Goodbye Adrian Leijer. It’s a sentence I thought I wouldn’t be saying for many years yet. The 28 year old has been part of the Victory set up ever since he failed a trial at Everton back in 2005. His name has become so entrenched in Victory folklore that many fans forget that he is currently coming to the end of his second stint with the club after the obligatory failed stint in Europe.
He may not have reached the massive potential that his 40 plus appearances for the Socceroos youth teams may have suggested and he hasn’t always been the hero for the deep dark blue. In fact fans often lambasted the defender for some less than dominant performances and no one was surprised when he was stripped of the club captaincy back in 2013. But one thing that has never been questioned is his love for Melbourne Victory and how hard it must have been making the decision to leave for Chinese club Chongqing Lifan. I am sure the millions of dollars on offer have helped but he has been part of the club from day one and as seen it grow in to the monster it is today. He has won championships and proved himself again and again despite the constant doubters.
No doubt about it Leijer is club legend and should be treated as such. In fact it is becoming hard to talk about the guy without using the obligatory football cliché, so I am going to go hard and use as many as I bloody well can.
Adrain Leijer always gave %110. He wore his heart on his sleeve and knew how to dig in when it counted. If he cut himself he would surely bleed the blue and white of Victory. He would work his socks off and was a great advert for the game because he always left everything out on the field. You could never say that the other team wanted more than Adrian. He was no fox in the box and would rarely be caught running the channels but his defending was textbook. He had bottle and always stepped up to the plate. He was never afraid of having a dig or putting in a shift and would often get himself in the mix by covering every blade of grass.
We will miss you Mr. Leijer, but will probably see you for the start of next season when you return on loan. Don’t forget to treat the boys to a new watch with all the extra notes in your pocket to.
Amazing Adrian Leijer fact:
Adrian Leijer has scored more goals in the A-League that Spanish legend David Villa.