Dubbo’s Jacob Tratt has secured his place at Sydney FC for the remainder of the season, but he still has a point to prove.
The 24-year-old rejoined his youth league club in November on a short-term injury replacement contract and, after a number of solid performances – including a goal on debut – Tratt’s contract has been extended.
It’s been a rocky road in and out of the A-League for the central defender, who has battled with injury and being so far from home.
“His mother and myself are very, very proud,” dad John said.
“We know what he’s been through and to see him come out the other side is absolutely sensational.”
Tratt made his A-League debut for the Wellington Phoenix in 2016 before an ankle injury cut short his breakthrough season. He departed the club for personal reasons in April 2017, and spent six months out of the game.
He returned to the NSW NPL 1 in 2018, captaining the Sutherland Sharkes, before an unsuccessful trial with the Phoenix.
But the pre-season in Wellington made him an attractive option for the sky blues head coach – and Tratt’s 2013-14 premiership-winning Youth League coach – Steve Corica.
Tratt made his mark quickly, scoring in his first appearance – in the derby win over Western Sydney no less – and now has a chance to remain in Sydney where he lives with girlfriend, and sisters Hannah and Maddie.
“I’m very happy to be staying until the end of the season,” Tratt said in a statement on the club’s website.
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“That was my initial goal when I first signed in November and I’m very pleased to have achieved that.
“Now I want to prove I have what it takes to stay at the club longer term and over the next five months I intend to show I am worthy to be part of this fantastic club for a long time to come.”
“All he wants to do is play football in the A-League,” John said.
“At the moment he’s just lapping it up. He’s playing with some very good footballers so if he can keep training well and – we wouldn’t hope it on anyone – but if anyone gets injured then Jacob can go up into the side.
“Let’s hope he can force his way into the starting team.”
Corica said Tratt had been “excellent” since joining the squad, lauding his “attitude and commitment” both on and off the field.
“He showed what a good player he is when he was called upon in the Sydney Derby and I look forward to watching him continue to fight for a starting place.”