From Aberystwyth to AAMI Park

In May 2010, Geoff Kellaway was playing for semi-professional Aberystwyth Town in the Welsh Premier League. Four months on, the new Melbourne Victory midfielder became the 500th player to appear in the Hyundai A-League.

In May 2010, Geoff Kellaway was playing for semi-professional Aberystwyth Town in the Welsh Premier League. Four months on, the new Melbourne Victory midfielder became the 500th player to appear in the Hyundai A-League.

Kellaway made his debut in the Victory's 2-2 draw with North Queensland Fury at AAMI Park on Saturday, impressing off the bench and winning a penalty for his new team.

After being signed from VPL side Dandenong Thunder on a three-month injury-replacement loan on August 17, Kellaway was excited to make his first competitive appearance in Victory colours.

"'It feels fantastic to get my first game under my belt, I've been working hard in training to get my fitness up to the level that's required," Kellaway said.

"The standard's a lot higher than the Welsh Premier League. Back home I was just playing semi-professional. It's faster than what I'm used to."

Kellaway has taken a more unusual route than many to reach the top flight of Australian football.

Named in the 2010 Welsh Premier League team of the year, the idea of a two-month football holiday in Australia was originally suggested in the local pub.

"I was talking to mate of mine who was coming here and he said 'would you fancy coming out to Australia to play football' and I didn't turn the chance down."

"I was originally going to be here until August 8, because I was going back home to start my season in Wales, then I had Ernie Merrick call me up and now I'm in the A-league."

Kellaway shone in his brief spell at Dandenong, with a standout performance in a pre-season friendly against the Victory earning him a contract with the two-time A-League Premiers.

One of the Victory's least likely signings is already benefiting from the years of experience in the Victory dressing room.

"Kevin Muscat's leadership has impressed me, as well as the older pros like Brebs (Grant Brebner). Carlos Hernandez is a great player and a great lad - he's very skilful."

Next up for Victory is an away game against Gold Coast United on Sunday and the new recruit is hopeful of making his second appearance in the match at Skilled Stadium.

"Everyone's always fighting to get into the starting positions and I had a good performance on the weekend, but it's down to the management to decide whether I start or not."

Back in the Welsh Premier League, Aberystwyth have opened their new campaign with four points from two games and may need to make do without their star man for a while longer, because Geoff Kellaway fancies his chances of extending his stay.

"It all depends how I do for the next three months. If I can keep up my performances you never know what can happen."