James Meredith Interview
James Meredith was born on the 4th April 1988 in Albury, Australia. Meredith was spotted playing football in Melbourne at the age of 16 by a Derby County scout. He was offered a trial by the club and he joined their youth system on a two-year contract in 2004.
Having progressed through the youth team he signed a two-year professional contract with Derby County on 19 July 2006. Whilst at Derby County he had two loan spells with Cambridge United and Chesterfield before being released by Derby at then end of the 2006-07 season.
Meredith then joined League of Ireland Premier Division side Sligo Rovers, on a one year contract. He made his debut in a 2–0 defeat at Galway United on 24 August 2007, but spent only one season at the club making just four appearances.
After spending the summer with no club a move to Shrewsbury Town followed in January 2008, on a one and a half year contract. Meredith made his debut for the club against Hereford United in February, but by July the new manager Paul Simpson had said Meredith was not part of his plans and left him out of the pre season tour of Spain.
Meredith spent the final 12 month of his Shrewsbury Town contract on loan at Conference North side Telford United, playing in the Play Off Final which the club lost 1-0 against Gateshead and also the Conference League Cup semi final before missing the final after a red card at Barrow. However he finished the season with 46 appearances, scoring 1 goal.
In the summer of 2009, Meredith joined Conference Premier League side York City and made his debut for the club in a 2-1 defeat to Oxford United on the 8th August 2009. He started in the 2010 Conference Premier play-off Final at Wembley Stadium on 16 May 2010, which York lost 3–1 to Oxford United.
Meredith won the 2012 FA Trophy Final with York City at Wembley on the 12th May 2012 and just eight days later he returned to Wembley to help York City beat Luton town to win the Conference Play Off Final to promote the club back to the Football League. In total he made 126 appearances, scoring 3 goals for York City.
Meredith then transferred to Bradford City in the summer of 2012 and made his debut for the club in a 1-0 win against Notts County in the Capital One Cup. However little did we know that Bradford City would go all the way to the Capital One Cup Final against Swansea City and become the lowest ranked team to reach the cup final.
Just three months later, Meredith was back at Wembley as Bradford City won promotion via the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off at Wembley against Northampton Town. Since then the club has had some excellent FA Cup runs beating Sunderland and Chelsea, at present Meredith has made 140 appearances, scoring 2 goals as he continues his Bantams career.
Whilst at Bradford City, he has also been selected for his country Australia, firstly as an unused substitute against Jordan and secondly collecting his first full cap in the starting eleven against Kyrgyzstan during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Biggest Influence in Football?
My biggest influences in football are Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill, being Australian you always look up to your national stars and the things they achieved i find incredible.
My Socceroos debut was the highlight for me as it was a long standing dream come true. At club level beating Chelsea 4-2 in the FA Cup will rank highly among football memories.
Lowlight in football was being released from Derby County by new management after working so hard to break through into the first team squad.
Your Strength (As a Player)?
I think my strength is 1 vs 1 defending and moving forward with the ball at pace.
Your Weakness (As a Player)?
I think my weakness is I need to score more goals, something hopefully i can do this season!
Best Goal you have scored?
The best goal I have scored was for York City in my last year, going past two players and bending the ball into the bottom right corner with the outside of my boot.
I found Aaron Ramsey a tough opponent to play against in the Capital One Cup game at the Coral Windows Stadium, other than him Oscar at Chelsea had very tricky, he moves well with the ball as well as being very intelligent.
Best Player you have played with & why?
Tim Cahill and Mile Jedinak are the best players I’ve played with, both fantastic players that have a presence and command respect in their own right. Off the pitch they are good blokes and on the pitch they are leaders.
Explain the feeling when you received your first international call-up for Australia?
It was a great feeling, it felt deserved and I felt like I wanted to prove myself, its a great feeling representing your country and it makes your family and friends proud.
When and against who did you make your League debut ?
I made my league debut for Cambridge United against Oxford United in the conference on the 19th October 2006. We lost the game 3-0 and it was very nerve racking experience.
Describe the feeling you get when you walk out in front of a full house at Valley Parade?
The feeling I get coming out in front of a home crowd at Valley Parade is one of pride, confidence and responsibility. I feel like I know the City and fans well now after being here for four seasons, I feel like every game its important to give my all and do everything I can for the win. It’s a great atmosphere every home game which is very exciting.
Look forward to when you stop playing do you see yourself going into Management, coaching or media. Or do you have other business idea’s?
When I stop playing, I’ve promised my Dad I will go home and go into business with him. I’ve been away from home for 11 years and when I’m ready I believe the right thing to do is spend the next stage of my life with my family.