AX is thrilled to announce that center back Joe Jackson has signed his first professional contract with Drogheda United of the Irish Division 1.
The signing comes after Jackson impressed at AX’s Fort Lauderdale combine in December of 2015, and also on a Showcase in Malta shortly thereafter. Once again, AX provided a young player with the means to realize their international dream.
For Jackson, however, prospects weren’t always as optimistic.
“After college I tried several times to become a professional and it was through AX that I was finally able to do it.”
The Canadian admitted to being nervous during his first day at the Fort Lauderdale tryout, while also noting the competition at the AX trial was far superior to anything he’d ever faced.
“At first I was nervous because I realized that this was a step up from anything I had done before,” he said. “But I knew I wanted this more than anything else and the feelings of a great opportunity and excitement took over.”
Jackson took the opportunity in stride, and in a short matter of time AX staff were consulting him on the steps and hurdles needed to sign a professional contract.
“The doors they can open in Europe are second to none because they have great connections and take pride in the job they do for you,” he said. “The staff was behind me 100% and looked after me so that I could not just sign a contract but also be in an environment where I would do well. They’ve been great.”
The team he is joining, Drogheda United, was in the Irish Premiere Division as recently as last season, but were relegated after finishing last in the league. Part of their problem in the 2015 campaign was defense, as they allowed 62 goals, good for second most in the league.
“The thing that excites me the most is the level of passion for football here. Being able to see it first-hand from the club supporters in Ireland pushes you to be a better player.”
Adding a young, hungry center back should help improve Drogheda’s defense. Manager Pete Mahon has already complimented Jackson on his work ethic and skill set.
“Joe has been training with us for the last few weeks. He has impressed us greatly since then which has culminated in a very solid performance…last week,” Mahon said in a press release. “He is a commanding center back and will be a big presence for us next season.”
Through six matches, Drogheda’s additions, including Jackson, are making a difference. The team has had a strong start, and through six games is currently fourth in the standings.