Alex Fisher is making big waves in Belgium – and is determined to continue his upward climb as a professional footballer.
The 22-year-old came through the youth ranks at Oxford United , but after his release from the U’s and a spell at Oxford City, is now flying high at Racing Mechelen.
The striker has hit five goals in the opening eight games for the third division side, and his super start to the season has not gone unnoticed.
Despite his young age, Fisher has already experienced plenty of highs and lows, but is keen to build on his good form – and would love to earn a return to Oxford in the future.
Aged 17, he scored his first senior goal in United’s 4-0 home win over Altrincham in the Blue Square Premier.
He also scored the only goal in a 2-1 home defeat to Portsmouth in a pre-season friendly, beating David James with a left-foot volley.
“My hope is to continue the good start both the team and I have made and go on to contend for the championship,” he said.
“In the long run, my heart is in England, especially at Oxford – I would love to play at the Kassam again.”
Fisher taught himself four A-Levels while at United, and achieved A grades in each of them.
After not getting a new deal with the U’s, Fisher was offered a place in the Glenn Hoddle Academy, and played against the likes of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Seville during his time in Spain.
When his contract was up, he returned to England and played a few games for Oxford City, for which he is thankful to boss Mike Ford for giving him the chance to maintain his fitness.
He combined football with starting a pilot’s course – something he maintains now.
However, his break came out the blue.
“An agent called the academy, who got in touch and said they wanted me to play in Belgium,” he explained.
“I jumped on the train and started training with a team in the Pro League called STVV.
“Sparta Rotterdam then showed interest so I went to Holland, but that didn’t really work out and I ended up signing for KVK Tienen in the Belgian second division, and scored a couple of goals in the last few games of the season.”
Those strikes proved crucial for Fisher, with other teams alerted to what he was capable of.
“I scored only two goals there, but while it wasn’t the most successful stint, it was enough to get me on the Belgian radar,” he said.
“I was offered deals at KVC Westerlo and Racing Mechelen after scoring three goals in two pre-season matches.
“I chose Racing because the manager seemed to like me and I had a better chance of playing games, which was the most important thing for me.”
He added: “Mechelen is a very nice town, and has a bit of an Oxford feel in its architecture.
“The club prides itself on its English roots, so settling in has been easy, especially with the support of my mum, dad and brother, as well as friends.
“I am very happy where I am and hope to keep improving here.”