Miele's move goes to plan
A move from the English Premier League into the non-league scene back home in Dublin is proving to be anything but a backwards step for Brandon Miele as he wins over the Shamrock Rovers fans with a stream of important goals.
The Hoops remain unbeaten this season but they had Tallaght lad Miele to thank in their last game, as he scored a late equaliser to give Pat Fenlon's side a 1-1 draw away to Limerick last weekend.
Miele had all the early signs of a bright career - contract with Newcastle United and a batch of underage caps - but last year, having been released by the Magpies, he found himself playing non-league football with Bluebell United.. Current team-mate Keith Fahey built a very successful career from a spell with Bluebell and for Miele, the long-term goals remain the same, though he admits that having come from the luxurious life of a pro at a big English club, the Leinster Senior League toughened him up in time for his spell with Rovers.
"My plan is still to get back to England. I have to get into the Rovers team on a long-term basis first and show the manager I am good enough to play, if I can do that maybe I can move to another level, but that's way down the line, for now the focus is on doing well for Rovers and trying to win things here," says Miele, who joined Rovers in January after a six-month spell with Bluebell.
"It's a tough league, you're a young lad up against grown men, the tackles are flying in so it really toughened me up, and helped me get where I am now with Rovers in the League of Ireland.
"You are up against players who have been in that league for a while and you're a big shot back from England so they want to do well against you, that's just the nature of the game and it's all part of making you better and tougher.
"I know that Keith Fahey did the same, he played for Bluebell for a while after he first came back from England and it worked for him. It shows I was not the only one."
His move to Bluebell came about because of some bad timing. "I left Newcastle at the end of May, around this time last year. I didn't know there was a deadline for signing in the League of Ireland. When I came home I had a bit of a break, took a holiday, but I missed the deadline to sign for a club here," he says.
"So it was too late to join someone in the League of Ireland and it made sense to sign for someone in the Leinster Senior League, to keep up my fitness and get myself noticed."
Miele is Rovers' second-top scorer behind Mikey Drennan, a nice place for the youngster to be. "It's good to have a couple of goals on my record already, especially as I haven't been starting games. If I was starting every week I'd expect to have even more goals," he says.
"I am happy with how it's gone so far, and I just hope what I have done is enough to show that I can get a start in the team so my season can really take off. I am confident in my own ability and I feel if I get a chance in the team I will take it.
"I learn a lot from lads like Keith Fahey and Stephen McPhail, the two lads have been great to me, I have become really close to Keith Fahey since I came here, he's had a very similar background to me, he's always there for a good word and he's keeping me on the right road."