After being linked with several Premiership sides, Brett Emerton joined Blackburn Rovers in July 2003 from Feyenoord.
Little did he know that his spell at Rovers would last eight years, making 290 appearances and playing in two World Cups for Australia in the meantime.
He left the club in August 2011, captaining the side for a home match with Everton to receive a much deserved send off for a fan favourite.
We had the pleasure of Brett Emerton answering a few questions for us, and here is the interview in full:
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You joined the club in 2003 from Feyenoord. What was it like to move to a team playing in one of the best leagues in the world?
“To play football in the Premier League was always a dream of mine, so when I signed for Blackburn in 2003, it really was a dream come true. I was excited about the opportunity to represent such a great club and test myself week in week out against the best players and teams in the world.”
During your eight-year spell, you played under five different managers. Who would you say that you enjoyed playing under the most and why?
“I would say that my time playing under Mark Hughes was probably the most enjoyable, as we had a great squad of players with a fantastic team spirit which translated to fantastic results on the pitch. He was able to get the best out of each and every player in the squad.”
You also played with some excellent talents at Rovers, but who was the best one to play with and why?
“I had the opportunity to play with some world class players throughout my time [at Rovers], like Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Benny McCarthy, Roque Santa Cruz, and Craig Bellamy, just to name a few, but for me Tugay was special. His ability on the ball, range of passing and football intelligence was amazing and I always enjoyed playing alongside him.”
What was the favourite goal you scored and why?
“My favourite goal for Rovers was probably on the last day of the season away against Wolves in 2011. We were fighting for survival and to score such a great volley to help keep the club in the Premier League was huge. We got the job done and to play my part meant a lot.
We had some pretty memorable games during your time at the club, but which one stands out in your memory when you think of your time here?
“My debut against wolves and also my last was special [against Everton]. To be given the armband in my last game for the club, and to receive great support from all the Rovers fans was the perfect send-off.”
What was it like playing in Europe for Rovers?
“Playing in Europe was a great achievement for the team and, although we didn’t do as well as we would have liked, it was always enjoyable. “
How did you feel your relationship with the fans was during your time here?
“I feel my relationship with the fans was great during my time at Rovers. As a player, you can’t always play well but I think they can appreciate when a player gives 100% every time he steps onto the pitch and I feel I did that.”
Do you have any regrets about your time at Ewood?
“I don’t have any regrets about my time at Ewood. I think myself lucky to have spent such a long time at a great club playing in the best competition in the world. So many great memories!”
Finally, what do you make of Rovers currently?
“I watch from afar always wanting the best for the club and hoping that soon they will be back in the Premier League where they belong. I wish everyone all the best and hope to return sometime soon.”
This interview was originally published in June 2019.