It would be fair to say Ballarat City goalkeeper Ryan Schorback was thrown in the deep end in unique circumstances, but if his first six games are anything to go by, a long career in the goals looks on the cards.
The 19-year-old spent most of the season in the club’s under-20 side, with an eye towards breaking into the senior ranks next year. But that all changed when regular Ballarat keeper Aaron Romein announced his shock retirement in June, thrusting Schorback into the senior team ahead of schedule.
Schorback admits there were a few nerves when he realised he would be taking up such a pivotal role in the senior side, but the overriding emotion was one of excitement for the opportunity to fast-track his development.
Schorback said there was an adjustment period to the standard, but he felt Saturday’s game against Murray United, where he kept a cleansheet – his second in three weeks – was as comfortable as he had felt at the level.
“It did take a while to settle into the team,” Schorback said.
“There was a lot of expectation on me coming in, but having trained with the squad for four years it was probably good timing.
“I was quite shocked at the announcement he made, but at the same time I was quite excited. (I felt) ready for the opportunity, obviously nervous, but excited at the same time.
“On the weekend I felt the most comfortable of all the senior games I’ve played so far.”
Having joined Ballarat City’s academy in the under-12s, Schorback has remained in the club’s ranks throughout his career. Although when he first arrived at the club, he was playing in the outfield. An opportunity came up for the youngster to fill-in as goalkeeper and he thrived – since then he has made the gloves his own.
Schorback works closely with goalkeeping coach Ricky Romein and feels like he is making great strides in his keeping.
On the weekend I felt the most comfortable of all the senior games I’ve played so far.Ballarat City goalkeeper Ryan Schorback
“He gives me a lot of guidance and support and all the information I need to know going into a game.
“I’m really happy with how I’m performing at the moment.”
Speaking generally about his position, Schorback said the pressure that came with his role was all part of the job – learning to relish the responsibility over the years.
“It’s the nature of the position...if I make one mistake it’s a lot more crucial than if a striker does, I’m used to that though, being a keeper through juniors.
“I’ve got to really concentrate and remain composed.”
Ballarat City hosts Nunawading City this Saturday.