If it wasnt' for a late approach from Sydney FC, Luke Brattan might have been lining up against the Sky Blues in Saturday night's Sydney derby, having been tempted to join Western Sydney Wanderers during the off-season.
The defensive midfielder was entering the final six months of his contract with Melbourne City at the end of last season when he was approached by the Wanderers.
Brattan was seeking a change of scenery after three years in Melbourne and the Wanderers submitted a contract offer in the early months of 2019.
He turned down the opportunity to move to Western Sydney, keeping half an eye on a possible move abroad, before eventually joining the Sky Blues months later. Brattan says there was a real possibility of joining Western Sydney early this year, but he hasn't reflected on that at all ahead of Saturday night's derby at Bankwest Stadium.
"I was speaking to them halfway through last season so it was a long time ago. I don’t really think about that now. I am extremely happy to be here and I give it my all in every game," he said. "You talk to a lot of clubs but I am a Sydney FC player now and I would do anything for this club at the moment. I don’t think about Western Sydney at all. That was a long time ago. I am loving being here and the boys and staff here are fantastic."
The 29-year-old had interest from Turkey and the Middle East but says he jumped at the opportunity to sign with Sydney, having been previously envious of their success and even getting advice from his friends and former teammates.
"I was in talks with a lot of A-League clubs for a while but when Joshy [Brillante] left here, Sydney FC were looking for someone. It wasn’t a hard decision when they came knocking," Brattan said. "I watched them over the past four or five years being successful. I have friends who came here and have nothing but good things to say about the club. From the outside looking in, I definitely wanted to be a part of it."
Now in the prime of his career as a midfielder, Brattan is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne and fullback Rhyan Grant and break into the Socceroos squad.
He has come close before, called-up for four World Cup qualifiers between 2015 and 2016 but never making it off the bench. Following the retirement of Mile Jedinak and midfielder Mark Milligan playing more regularly in the backline, Brattan is hoping to press his claims for an Australian jersey with a strong season at the A-League champions.
"I have played a little bit higher up the last couple of years so being here purely as a number six now, I think I can get back into the swing of things," Brattan said. "I have always dreamed about playing for the Socceroos so hopefully that comes up, even if it's next year whenever it is. I just need to concentrate on winning things here, playing well and just getting back to enjoying myself and playing with a smile on my face."