HOW GREG CAST OFF ’BORING’ TAG
Practice in park replaced nightout
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.
“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.”
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.”
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