HOW GREG CAST OFF ’BOR­ING’ TAG

Prac­tice in park re­placed nightout

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Nick Lough

IT HAS been ex­actly a year since Greg Luer’s dream of be­com­ing a pro­fes­sional foot­baller came true – and he’s now ready to show Premier League gi­ants Manch­ester City what he’s all about.

In Novem­ber 2014, Luer and his team-mates at Burgess Hill were un­beaten in Ry­man Di­vi­sion One South, with the 20-year-old bang­ing in the goals left, right, and cen­tre.

The for­mer White­hawk and East­bourne young­ster’s ex­ploits were al­ways bound to at­tract some in­ter­est.

But, if it were not for an 11th hour of­fer from for­mer Premier League side Hull City, things could have turned out very dif­fer­ently for the striker.

Luer, who had 17 goals to his name by the time he made the move north on Jan­uary 1, told The FLP: “I played in a trial match for Ox­ford United af­ter scor­ing a few goals while I was at Burgess Hill.

Pushed

“I think Hull had shown some in­ter­est prior to that, but when Ox­ford made me an of­fer Hull got on the phone to my man­ager. He and my agent James Gar­ley really pushed for it, and it all hap­pened in less than a week.”

With the dream of play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally al­ways the goal, Luer swapped the night­club cir­cuit with his friends for muddy evenings at the park with his fa­ther, Rolf.

It was to prove a worth­while sac­ri­fice in his pur­suit to make the top.

“My dad used to play Non-League foot­ball and he was the one who pushed me to bet­ter my­self,” he said.

“He was my big­gest in­flu­ence but also my big­gest critic.

“He would take to me the park when it was wet and hor­ri­ble and made me work on my weaker left foot.

“He told me if I learned to be two-footed then it would help my game mas­sively.

“All my mates would go out drink­ing, but when I signed for Burgess Hill I knew I had to take things se­ri­ously, so I gave it up.

“Some of my mates thought I was ‘bor­ing’ and they couldn’t get their head around it, but my close friends knew if I wanted to take my foot­ball se­ri­ously it was a sac­ri­fice worth making.”

Notch­ing

Given his big chance by Hull boss Steve Bruce in this year’s Cap­i­tal One Cup, Luer has started all three of the club’s ties – notch­ing against Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley and Rochdale.

He bat­tled home­sick­ness af­ter mov­ing 250 miles from his fam­ily home at just 19 years old.

“Now, though, he is ready to cause an up­set with a mouth­wa­ter­ing trip to Manch­ester City next on the agenda.

Luer said: “It was hard to start with as I felt a bit down at times be­ing in Hull af­ter mov­ing so far from home.

“I felt so alone and it was hard to speak to peo­ple about it. “Play­ing foot­ball got me through it. “I was hap­pi­est when I was on the pitch and I’m glad I’m over it now.

“I firmly be­lieve we can go there and cause an up­set.

“We have an amaz­ing squad. We have the be­lief to beat them and I won’t be sur­prised if we knock them out.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

HAPPY HIL­LIAN: Greg Luer made his name with Burgess Hill LURE OF BIG TIME: Greg Luer, right, cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing for Hull against Ac­cring­ton af­ter his dream move

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