NEW English recruits Korey and Kallum Nix may just be able to give the beleaguered Bundaberg Toyota Spirit the boost they need when they take on Far North Queensland Bulls in the Queensland State League tomorrow.
The Spirit returns to Martens Oval for the first time this season, hoping to bounce back from a last-start 5-0 white-wash by Queensland Academy of Sport.
The Nix brothers come with excellent credentials, but coach Tony Roebuck is “not expecting miracles in their first game”.
Both came through the Manchester United Youth program, with Korey, who is now 23, signing a professional contract as a 17-year-old with Derby County and playing Reserves, before joining Sheffield United and being in their “first team pool”.
He said he was recommended to Brisbane Roar in 2009 and trained with them under then coach Frank Farina but was not signed because he could not get a passport.
Korey played for six weeks for Mitchelton under Iain Fagan, whose brother Paul is the Spirit assistant coach, before returning home and having a “short spell” with Bradford before “beginning this season with Mansfield Town”.
“Getting a passport is one of the reasons I am here because I want to play A-League and we are here to see what happens and show what we can do,” Korey said.
Kallum, 19, also had stints with Sheffield United and Leeds but he gave the game away at the age of 16 for “quite a while” after the death of one of his best friends.
Since coming back, he played only “locally” and he jumped at the chance to join the Spirit.
Korey has played mostly in the central midfielder, with Kallum a more attacking midfielder.
Spirit will be without Corey Haack and Lucas Read and Roebuck knows it will be tough against an attacking Peter Tokesi-coached team which is fresh from their first win of 2011, beating Cougars 3-0.
But he said they were poor in only “small parcels” against QAS and he is confident they will break through “sooner rather than later”.
Earlier, the Spirit's Youth team will meet Logan Strikers.