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News Archive > Sport > Luxton: ‘My way of life is so much better after Oz move’

Luxton: ‘My way of life is so much better after Oz move’

By Tom Howe 5th April 2021

Luxton: ‘My way of life is so much better after Oz move’
Chris Luxton’s old stomping ground, Priory Park, and his ex-Bodmin boss, Darren Gilbert

In last week’s edition of the Voice, former Bodmin Town and Newquay striker Chris Luxton reminisced about his time spent in Cornish football, something that came to an end in 2014 following a move to Australia.

A serious knee injury and a spell out of the game helped prompt Luxton, then 20, into travelling to the other side of the world.

An initial backpacking trip has since turned into something more solid, with the ex-Priory Park favourite now working towards permanent residency.

While continuing work as a bricklayer, a trade in which he became qualified thanks to an apprenticeship offered by Bodmin manager Darren Gilbert, Luxton has undertaken a UEFA C course as he follows his dream of coaching the next generation of footballers in his local area.

Following his anterior cruciate ligament injury, the flicks, tricks and goals of days gone by have made way for a more composed holding midfielder player, with Luxton currently plying his trade for Glebe Gorillas in the Eastern Suburbs Premier League.

“It is a stark contrast to what it was like back home with Bodmin,” said Luxton.

“It’s completely different but, in a way, I love it a little bit more over here because I’m with my best mates playing football. Football is not as well funded in Australia. In the South West Peninsula League, people get paid but here you have to pay to play. You have to play pretty high to start picking up money and taking it a bit more seriously. From getting paid at Bodmin, walking into the changing rooms and getting everything for you, then having to turn up and pay for football, that was a first. I wasn’t used to that but you get used to it. The clubs over here just haven’t got the funding like they have in England.

“I’m a central midfielder now. I used to play up front back home but I’m more of a holding central midfielder now. I play for a team called Glebe. Our whole team is English, Irish and Scottish and play in the Eastern Suburbs Football League. I would say 85 per cent of our team are British. There are a lot of expats over here and they all seem to congregate together this far away from home. Australians are a bit different, with a different sense of humour, whereas British people are very similar and seem to get together here.

“I actually did a UEFA C coaching course because, after I get my permanent residency, I want to get into coaching kids. I love it over here and it was definitely a good choice coming. My way of life is so much better. The balance is completely different. You finish work at 3.00 pm and you can go down to the beach, the sun’s out and it’s a bit different from England. There you can only go down to the beach about two weeks every year. I miss Cornwall so much though. I’ve been back twice in seven years. I was meant to come back last June and had my tickets booked but because of covid and stuff it got cancelled/ I want to see my family and I want to have a Cornish pasty. I miss them so much.

“We had maybe a week or two weeks last year where we were locked down like you are now but since then we have managed it really well over here. What Australia did so well was that they closed the borders straight away. It’s so hard to get into this country anyway with visas and stuff like that. They’re very particular and just said nobody is coming in or out, they were proper ruthless but it was the perfect way to do it in hindsight. We have lived a relatively normal life for the last year. Pubs are still open but you’ve had to go and sit down and had a meal. Gatherings were limited at ten, then 30 and now they are unlimited. It’s still relatively normal. You can go and see your mates and go out for food, you don’t just have to stay in your house.”

The boy that left Cornwall in 2014 has developed into a man, one which hasn’t forgotten the opportunities provided to him as a tender 16-year-old released by Plymouth Argyle.

“I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to play under people like Jim Hilton who made me fall in love with football again [at Newquay], and people like Gilby. All the managers that I have had in my life have been really influential towards the person I am now. Gilby gave me a platform to go and live in this country, without that I wouldn’t be able to have the standard of living I have now.

“I was quite lucky to represent Cornwall as well, which is a nice thing to be able to say that I’ve done. I saw all the things about Kernow FA and was so gutted that I wasn’t around. You want to represent Cornwall at every level you can. It’s an honour and one step down from playing for your country, isn’t it? When I saw the Kernow thing I was buzzing that Cornwall were doing that. It’s good that they are getting on the map a little bit.”

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By Tom Howe 5th April 2021

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