Brownlie signs for ACE
Family made it easy for me, says Royce
ROYCE Brownlie, the all-time leading scorer in the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland, has signed for Albany Creek Excelsior.
Brownlie hit 72 goals in four seasons with Moreton Bay United, was Jets’ foundation captain and skippered the side to the league and grand final double in 2015.
But, in a major coup for ACE, the former Queensland (now Brisbane) Roar striker has decided now is the time to return to the BPL.
“It was coming to a time where you don’t get any younger and it’s putting back in to ACE where we have kids coming through,” said Brownlie.
“Players like Chomba (Arop) and a few of the other boys who hopefully I can pass on some tactics and information and slowly start making the transition to the other side (coaching).
“I’ll definitely keep playing, but the main part of the decision to step down this year was work commitments up north and being able to provide the same time to train the kids.
“Working away makes it tough. This way I can still play and give 100 per cent.
“It was a tough decision, knowing when to make a move, when to make the right decision, but I consulted my family, what should I do, and they said they wanted me here. They made it easy for me.”
That was great news for ACE coach Pouria Nabi. “Royce is a really good signing for ACE,” he said.
“I had a couple of meetings with Royce before he decided to come to ACE. Mainly we talked about football, not just ACE, and found we had a lot in common about the game and he was convinced to come to ACE.
“The great thing about Royce joining ACE is we have two really good young strikers, Riley Campbell and Chomba and both need a player like Royce to mentor them, pass on what he has learned over the last 15-16 years.
“If he can do that these boys can improve and make the next step up in their football careers, that’s the NPL.”
But, Brownlie also has ambitions for his new team. “ACE wants to grow and win a championship and hopefully I can help deliver that,” he said.
“It’s a big thing. Like with Moreton Bay. In four years they won a premiership, a grand final, I won a golden boot. It’s now on the other side of the fence.
“BPL is always a fast-paced game. More of a battlers’ game. To be honest it may help me a bit more. It’s not about being lightning quick.
“It’s about football, battling, getting stuck in, doing your job and hopefully I can do that next year and provide some help for ACE.”
That will come at both ends of the field, according to Nabi. “Based on how we play, I expect our defenders and midfield to score goals, not just put the pressure on Royce to score,” he said.
“I expect everyone to score and I expect Royce to defend as well. At the end of the day it is a collective team effort.
“In the last two years we were lacking experience and big leader on the park on match day.
“Signing Royce means we do not have to be too concerned about who is our leader on match days.
“Royce can be a great leader not just for the team but for the club as a whole.
“He can be a great ambassador for the club to improve football from the juniors right through to the seniors.”