New Signing Michael Kozielek gives ACE plenty of options
ACE appear to have four players in one with the signing of Michael Kozielek (pictured).
The 23 year old arrived at Wolter Park in March having played semi-professional football in Sweden.
After several weeks waiting for international clearance, he debuted against Centenary Stormers two weeks ago.
“Lately I’ve been in holding midfield and adventuring up to the (number) 10 (position),” said Kozielek.
But he can also play left back and was in central defence as ACE kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win at Taringa on Sunday. “I was covering for Deccy (Declan Morris) who had the red card,” said Kozielek, originally from Chicago.
“I didn’t do to bad. I’m fortunate to have played in a few positions at pretty high level. It’s nice to be comfortable in a number of positions.”
Alongside Kozielek in central defence at Taringa was Sean Lewis, also from Chicago, who played a key role in his move.
Kozielek “grew up” in the Chicago Fire Academy, went to Butler University and then joined Nordvarmlands FF, north of Gothenburg, in the Swedish league.
But work visa issues with another team left him looking for his next adventure.
“I was reaching out to all my contacts and Sean said he loved it down here,” said Kozielek, “he said it was a good set-up, the football was good, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
“The standard is good. Obviously, there’s rugby and AFL here, but from what I’ve seen and heard football is growing. I think it’s on the right track here.
“There’s a lot of committed players and coaches and this club is right behind it.
“I’m settling in. Getting to know the guys, but I think best is yet to come. I’m just doing my best to help the team.
“When you have team like this, which has a pretty new roster, players will take time to settle in and find their roles.”
ACE are second in the Premier League with have maximum points from five games approaching Saturday’s clash with Bayside, kick-off 5pm, who are tenth.
Grange are the only team ahead of ACE, having taken 18 points from six games so far.
“Right now it looks like two-horse race, but you see results which are really close,” said Kozielek.
“I think the biggest thing for us is showing up for every game mentally prepared and making sure a lower team doesn’t surprise us.”