BEAU Busch was travelling down to Sydney to play for Manly United in the NSW Premier League when he received a phone call from Jets coach Gary van Egmond.
Van Egmond was in need of a defender for the Jets' Pre-Season Cup opener against Perth in Mandurah.
Adam Griffiths (suspended), Jade North (Olyroos) and Shaun Ontong (injured) were out, leaving new signing Antun Kovacic as his lone central defender.
Busch, 24, had trained with the Jets last season and, more importantly, fitted the bill.
"Dutchy rang and said there was an opportunity for me following Shaun's injury," Busch said.
"He asked if I could move things around and come to training for the week and depending how I went, I may get a chance to go to Perth.
"I had never had a taste of being a professional footballer. Going on an away trip was very different to hanging out at home on a Saturday night waiting for the game."
Not only did Busch make the trip west, he played the entire 90 minutes in the Jets' 1-all draw with the Glory on Saturday night.
"In a way it was easier than playing some [NSW] Premier League games the quality of players wanting the ball and making good runs. It was a matter of winning the ball and then passing it to the bloke next to me," he said.
And with Ontong sidelined for at least another two months, Busch's cameo in Perth could be extended to a short-term contract.
"I think, once he gets used to the way we play, he would be fine," van Egmond said. "He is quite an aggressive player. He can use both feet, has good pace and is getting better as far as his decision-making.
"He has played in midfield, but I like him more as a central-defender-cum-right-or-left-fullback.
"With Ontong out, he would give us good coverage."
There are a number of hurdles to overcome, but Busch is keen to pursue talks.
"If I was a bit younger I would jump at it, but being 24, I have to have some sort of security," he said.
A former player at Broadmeadow Magic and Hamilton Olympic, Busch is in the final stages of completing a communications degree at the University of Newcastle and also works casually at The Star newspaper.
There is also the matter of his contract at Manly, which does not expire until the end of next season.
Manly are in third place in the NSW Premier League with two rounds remaining.
The Sea Eagles, who include Brad Swancott, Mick Williams and Joey Schirripa, had last weekend off, opening the way for Busch to travel to Perth.
They take on Sydney United at Edensor Park on Saturday night.
The match clashes with the Jets' round-two Pre-Season Cup match against Adelaide at Cessnock Sportsground.
"There are a few hurdles to clear," he said. "It would be great to test myself and see how much I could improve in a full-time environment.
"The absolute worst-case scenario is that I got to go to Perth and play 90 minutes in an A-League Pre-Season Cup game."