Leaving Brisbane was the hardest football decision I have ever had to make. I went back and forth with myself, writing down all the pros and cons when I needed to reassess my future.

In the end, I desperately needed a change, and subsequently a fresh start.

Those who know my story, know that the Roar has been my only professional club since I graduated into the A-League as a 17-year-old boy from the northern suburbs of Brisbane.

Corey Brown exclusive insight 4

I came straight from the AIS academy in Canberra, and so I suppose my surroundings have been quite familiar to me for some time.

For my football to take the next step, I needed to take myself of my comfort zone and make a decision that was going to be in the best interests of my long-term future.

After meeting with the recruiting team from the Melbourne Victory, I knew where I wanted to go next.

The city is absolutely incredible, and how could I bypass the opportunity to improve and develop as a top grade football player in what many regard as the biggest soccer club in Australia.

Corey Brown exclusive insight 4

There’s more pressure, more people watching, which creates a stronger challenge – one that I am very much looking forward too.

But, despite my sights being firmly fixed on the future, I need to take a moment to say thank you to everyone at the Brisbane Roar who helped me become the man I am today.

I’m a Queenslander at heart, and always will be, and there is no greater pathways for local talent than the Brisbane Roar; the moment I arrived as a teenager, they welcomed me in with open arms and helped me find myself in this league.

I will still be following all the boys closely, and remain good friends with everyone still in the locker rooms.

Corey Brown exclusive insight 4

Looking forward, as I prepare for my eight season of professional football, I know the time is now to make a real jump.

When I was a junior, I was lucky enough to be awarded consistent national selection, featuring in the U17, U20 and U23s Australian teams.

Of course, it has always been an ambition of mine to make the Socceroos, as I look to follow in the footsteps of my Dad, Rod Brown, who played seven games for the national team. Jokingly, he always gives me stick that I haven’t made it yet! But it’s honestly something I’d love to do, to rep for my country.

With the recent World Cup campaign, I just like every other Australian, was watching on cheering through the TV screen at home.

And for a moment, you can’t help but imagine what it would be like to be there, on the field, with the rest of the boys.

A couple of years ago, I actually felt I wasn’t too far away.

For me however, it really is a matter of being the best left fullback in the A-League, if I am to be any real chance of throwing my name in the ring.

So that has been a goal of mine – to elevate myself in the conversation as being one of the top three leftbacks in the competition.

Corey Brown exclusive insight 4

It’s easy for Dad to relate what I am going through though, as he too came through a similar system.

Bit different in position, as he was an unbelievable striker, whereas I play primarily as fullback.

He’s pushing me everyday, and keeps me level headed. Dad is the first person I call after every game, and no matter what he always tells me how it is. Sugar coating isn’t in his nature.

But, he also helps me sees things clearer too. There’s been times when I’ve said to him on the phone, “Oh, I was bad tonight.” And he would say “You weren’t too bad, just minor tweaks you have to make.”

Corey Brown exclusive insight 4

So having his guidance has been tremendous for me.

This year shapes as a career-defining season for me.

I’ve come here with every intention to win trophies alongside the team and to help the Victory taste success at the highest levels.

That’s what coach Kevin Muscat has brought me here to do.

Last year was difficult, with the injuries and rumours surrounding my future, but knowing all that is behind me now, I can simply concentrate on playing my best football.