Rastall keeps ticking over


After recently celebrating his 30th birthday, Rastall is enjoying the game as much as he did in his youth and is a big reason behind Marconi?s recent revival, which has seen them go on an unbeaten run in the league stretching across nine games.
?The past few weeks we have shown our true colours,? he said.
?I was confident we would give the competition a real shake after the players we signed (in the off season) but we have taken a while to work out the best style of play that suits us.” 
Rastall began his football at a representative level with Nepean before moving onto Sydney Olympic, where he broke into the first team as a seventeen-year-old.
After captaining the Australian Schoolboys in his last year of high school, he was chosen along with Socceroos Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton to travel to the United Kingdom as part of a Big Brother Scholarship.
?Harry and Brett went to Leeds and I was shipped off to Everton,” he recalled.
?It was a difficult situation because I got the impression we were going over to trial but nothing was going to eventuate.
?When I look and see what they have achieved it makes me wonder, but I have no regrets, I chose a different path.?
After returning down under following his English sojourn, Rastall linked up with the NSWIS before seeking a fresh start.
The Macarthur Rams came calling and Rastall spent a season at Lynwood Park before signing with Sydney United in the old NSL.
?David Ratcliffe was the coach and he looked after me when I was at Olympic so I jumped at the chance to play under him again.
?I enjoyed my time there but eventually decided to play State League to tie in with work and as soon as I met Brian ?Bomber? Brown at Blacktown the decision was vindicated.?
The regional manager with National Foods spent five years at Gabbie Stadium before being courted by Brown to Marconi.
?I felt like a part of the furniture (with the Demons) and decided it was time for a change,? he said.
?At the time Bomber was in charge at Marconi and I saw a chance for a fresh start.
?While results haven?t panned out as I anticipated the past few seasons, I am enjoying my football and really get a kick out of helping the younger blokes.?
After playing state league on and off for over a decade, Rastall feels the game has changed with the current emphasis on technical ability overshadowing ?old school? football.
?It may make me sound old but when I look at the League I don?t like everything I see,? he said.
?The aggression has diminished and the kids coming through aren?t being made to earn their spot like I did.
?I have always said if a player is good enough he is old enough but some of the blokes I come up against honestly  – they just aren?t that tough.
?Football has been good to me, I have met some great people over the years and I have been running a clinic out of the Blue Mountains for close to ten years now called Next Generation Football and I love teaching kids the fundamentals of the game.?
Once he does decide to walk away as a player, coaching is on his radar.
?No way I would go and do something else, football has always been a massive part of my life,? he said.
?I would love to coach a senior team in the Premier League and looking after an A League squad would be out of this world.
?But all that can wait, at the moment we are still a mathematical chance of making the semis and that?s my main focus.
?After our start that would be fantastic, we have the talent  – we just need to switch on and play to our strengths.?
-By Andrew Prentice