Former Liverpool man Brimmer has Pogba in his sights

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The young Aussie has history against the Red Devils and wants the shirt of their star causing a transfer stir

Two years removed from his youth career at Liverpool, Jake Brimmer will be feeling a sense of deja vu as he walks out against Manchester United on Saturday night.

From 2014 to 2017, the Melbourne-raised midfielder spent three years in Liverpool’s fabled academy which has produced the likes of Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Perth’s creative dynamo faced the Red Devils on numerous occasions back in his Liverpool days and couldn't be more excited at another opportunity.

"I think it’s class. For the supporters and players it’s a big opportunity to shine and really prove to everyone in Australia and England how far we’ve come, on top of last season," Brimmer said.

"All the boys are buzzing and you'd be pretty silly not to be when playing against one of the biggest teams in the world."

Looking back on the experience, Brimmer, who represented the Anfield side at U16, U18 and U21 levels, learnt much about life and his abilities on and off the pitch.

“As a person, I learnt that you have to be at your best everyday on and off the pitch because you've got a lot of people who look up to you and you get a lot of publicity," he said.

"You have to be a role model. The thing I was most uncomfortable with, was leaving my friends and family behind. Being a new boy and not knowing any of the lads, I think it changed me and made me a lot stronger.

“I realised how strong I could be mentally as a person, and that really translated onto the pitch. As the years went on I became more comfortable and made more mates.”

Brimmer grew up a boyhood Liverpool fan and has maintained his disliking for the 20-time English champions.

Despite his Scouse loyalties, Perth’s number 20 is an enormous fan of United’s polarising superstar Paul Pogba - who could feature against the current A-League champions.

“I think every midfielder would want Pogba’s [shirt], if I get that opportunity to get his top before anyone else snatches it, then I will!”

Paul Pogba Manchester United 2019

If his track record is anything to go by, Brimmer will leave Optus Stadium with a shirt to savour.

Almost 12 months ago to the day, he asked for a favour from his old pals back on Merseyside.

“I managed to get Cesc Fabregas’ shirt, it’s hanging in my house," Brimmer revealed.

"I messaged [Liverpool midfielder] Ovie Ejaria before the game and he knows [Chelsea striker] Tammy Abraham. So Tammy spoke to Fabregas and said that I wanted his shirt.

"After the game he came up to me and asked if I was Jake and I got it!”

Young Ejaria is one of many Brimmer still keeps in touch with back in Liverpool, with Reds Champions League hero Trent Alexander-Arnold the most notable of his friends.

The Olyroos midfielder isn’t treating Saturday’s match as an exhibition, rather he’s hellbent on showing those home and abroad how far he’s come of recent years.

“Individually it’s an opportunity to prove to everyone in the world how good you are as a player," Brimmer said.

"Most importantly, compared to the Chelsea game it’ll be a massive improvement. It'll be a great game for the fans I think.”

Whilst most would presume the English giants and Perth Glory are worlds apart, Brimmer revealed there are some similarities - in particular the brilliance of coach Tony Popovic.

“It’s pretty similar [the levels of coaching] but personally Popovic - in terms of the mental and physical side of things - has been the best coach I’ve ever had," he said.

"He always seeks improvement even if you think you can’t. I’ve grown a lot in my football and personal life since he’s arrived at the club.

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"I think development from a young age is the big difference really between England and Australia. You have the facilities, many different coaches, nice pitches and training every single day. From the ages of 12 onwards they're training every single day. It’s that extra training which is lacking from a young age.

"If you do something sloppy [in Australia], you move on to the next thing but [the English] will be angry with themselves and they can take that out in training and show it out on the pitch." 

Come Saturday, Brimmer will be hoping to create further frustration among the United camp, which will undoubtedly please his employers - both past and present.

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