Ashley Maynard-Brewer feared her participation in this summer’s Olympics would ruin her chances of getting a loan.
Despite being fully committed to parent club Charlton Athletic, the 22-year-old knew he needed some first-team action to continue his development this season.
Representing the Australian Under-23s in Tokyo, even as an unused substitute, was an exciting life experience, but meant he missed preseason training altogether.
Backed by a support manager in Charlton’s Nigel Adkins, however, an opportunity presented itself in Ross County.
His first-team chance came on Saturday after supplanting Ross Laidlaw for the 2-2 draw with Hearts, while also winning the Sponsors’ Man of the Match title.
“Coming to Ross County is a really good opportunity for me,” said Maynard-Brewer.
“I left with the Oz team for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and missed most of the preseason. As a result, I didn’t expect to get a loan this season.
“Fortunately, just as I got home from Tokyo airport, the chef called me. Immediately I knew it was a big chance for me in a top league. I know Scotland is a football mad country and takes football very seriously.
“Ever since I arrived here, I’ve loved everything: the people, the club and the region. I also have grandparents in Aberdeen who I don’t see very often, so that’s another nice aspect.
The Scottish Premiership represents a huge step forward after previous loans to Dulwich Hamlet, Dover Athletic, Hampton & Richmond and Chelmsford City. I was a little nervous. Obviously Hearts are a good team, ”said the Joondalup-born goalkeeper.
“But I’m glad I managed to make a few saves, which was good at the start as I was a little nervous.
“Their first goal was frustrating because it was their first attack. There was a deflection and it beat me at the near post, but we responded well, came in at halftime 2-1 and withstood a lot of pressure from Hearts.