ELITE EXPERIENCE: Ipswich footballer Josh Grommen (left) has been signed to play in the Thai Premier League after a successful stint in the Malaysia Super League.
ELITE EXPERIENCE: Ipswich footballer Josh Grommen (left) has been signed to play in the Thai Premier League after a successful stint in the Malaysia Super League. MUSA

Popped shoulder no fear for Ipswich international footballer

FOOTBALL: Having played a whole game with a dislocated shoulder underlines how tenacious Ipswich international sportsman Josh Grommen is.

He didn't want to let his team down.

He's also inspired by a tattoo that captures his professional dream.

Having just celebrated his 23rd birthday, Grommen had plenty to celebrate.

He's been contracted to play as a central defender in the Thai Premier League.

"At this moment I will be signed with the club until the end of the season but if I do well the club has given me the option to sign for another season,'' Grommen said from his overseas base in Sukhothai Province.

The former Queensland Academy of Sport and Western Pride defender will play for Sukhothai Fchich in Thailand.

"This is a massive step forward in my career as the Thai Premier League is a well established platform for players who want to play at a higher level as the quality of teams here are top class,'' Grommen said.

Grommen was keenly awaiting his first Thai Premier League game after a successful six-month stint in the Malaysia Super League and playing for the Davao Aguilas during the 2018 Philippines Football League season.

"That (MSL) was a great stepping stone to put my name out there in Asia as it's also seen as a big league to play in,'' the former Springfield Lakes and Bellbird Park-based footballer said.

"I had a great experience playing in the league as it showed me the different types of quality of players Asia has to offer.''

Grommen was named in the first 11 for his debut game with Petaling Jaya City.

"That was a great start in a new league for me but at the same time it wasn't,'' he said.

Grommen battled through a dislocated shoulder, which popped out more than three times during the match.

"I played the whole game like that as I didn't want to come off in my first match,'' he said. "It was painful at first but once I started playing more I lost focus on my shoulder and just started to concentrate on the game.''

Grommen said he knew his shoulder was dislocated "as it popped out a few times and the team doctors told me not to continue to play''.

"But I was determined to finish the match,'' he said.

The Australian-born Filipino footballer conceded that was the most difficult situation he had endured on a football field.

"So it was a good mental game for me to stay strong and push to keep playing,'' he said.

Later being named in the Malaysia Super League's best 11 was an achievement Grommen is particularly proud of.

"But the highlight in Malaysia would have been playing strong players from all parts of the world each week and always trying to be better than who I come up against as it teaches me to grow as a football player,'' he said.

 

Footballer Josh Grommen's symbolic tattoo.
Inspiring words on a tattoo on Josh Grommen's arm keep him motivated.

A tattoo on Grommen's arm reflects his ambition and determination.

The words are: We all have wings but some of us don't know why. So only dream of success if you have the passion to succeed.

"I live by this quote every day as I see so many people have dreams but they are not passionate enough to go after them or to achieve them,'' Grommen said.

"Just like with anything in life, if you want something you have to be so passionate, so dedicated to that something, that you're willing to sacrifice everything to achieve  them as dreams don't come easy unless you really work for it.''

Grommen said being able to play football for a living in different countries all over Asia and experiencing all the different cultures was the best experience.

"I was 18 when I first moved away from home and decided to pursue my passion to become a professional football player and since I never looked back as I was deterred to make something of myself,'' he said.

"I take every day step by step and make sure I'm always on top of what is demanded from me whether it's from my club or myself.''