Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Get to know: Jake McGing

By James Clark
Get to know: Jake McGing
Image Credit: Quarrie Sports Photography
When reading Foxtel National Youth League (NYL) Captain Jake McGing’s football CV you could easily be mistaken for thinking it was that of a player twice his age.

Jake first picked up a football at the age of five when his rugby league playing father and an over-protective mother signed him up for the local Eschol Park Wolves. From that moment the football has never been too far from his feet. 14 short years have passed and he has grown into a natural born leader of the Western Sydney Wanderers NYL side.

Representative honours soon followed and have shaped and dominated the McGing family’s weekend schedule ever since. His love of Futsal also helped develop and sharpen his talent in the larger form of the game.

It is obvious when speaking with Jake that football is a deeply rooted passion on and off the pitch. Any spare time away from the game is spent socialising with friends or nurturing his football brain via his FIFA 14 PlayStation console.

Jake has delved into a number of positions across the park over the years but has finally settled on the central-midfield role that aligns well with the increased responsibility that captaincy brings.

Asked for his childhood footballing hero it didn’t take much deliberation with the definitive answer being local product and international superstar Harry Kewell. Given that Jake attended the Westfield Sport High School it’s no wonder that Harry is a favourite amongst many of the former and current students at the renowned footballing nursery.

His admiration and respect for Harry is enormous and he hopes to one day meet or even play against his childhood idol. It was also Harry that helped sway him towards following Leeds United before quickly changing allegiances after his shift to the proud history of Anfield.

The game has repaid Jake to date with a highlight being his club side Marconi’s qualification in the 2009 Manchester Nike Cup competition. He had the great thrill of participating in a curtain-raiser on the hallowed turf of Old Trafford when Manchester United took on Spanish side Valencia in a pre-season friendly.

More recently Jake was delighted at being selected by Tony Popovic to join the Wanderers senior squad pre-season tour of Japan and China. The experience of travelling as a member of a professional football outfit has added fuel to an already ignited inner fire as Jake now sets his sights on aiming for more time in the senior ranks.

The experience has taught him the importance of soaking up every aspect of the game from training, recovery, preparation and patience.
“Tony Popovic has a real aura and his attention to detail in all aspects of the game is unbelievable,” said Jake.
“His level of professionalism rubs off on all the playing group and staff he comes in contact with at the club and I’m lucky to be learning from him.”
Come game day Jake believes he performs best when he is more relaxed in his mental and physical preparation. Like many footballers though the superstitious nature of game day is far too big a temptation to ignore. His insatiable need to apply socks, shin pads, boots and strapping on his right leg before his left is something that may surprise many but is a common occurrence in sporting dressing sheds across the world.

The added responsibility of captaincy doesn’t appear to be a burden but rather directs his attention from obsessing on his individual performance to that of the team.
“The true challenge in captaining a side isn’t when the side is performing well. It’s the ability to lift the spirits and keep the lads focused on the job at hand that I find more challenging and rewarding.”
The Foxtel National Youth League team is next at home when they play Melbourne Heart at Marconi Stadium on Saturday 23 November with kick-off at 3pm.

This article appears courtesy of Western Sydney Wanderers FC:


 Western Sydney Wanderers Website Link:

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

NYL: Get to know Martin Lo

By James Clark
NYL: Get to know Martin Lo
Born and bred in Western Sydney, 16 year old Martin Lo is a football talent on the rise.

Since picking up the round-ball aged six, Lo has achieved more than most kids his age and considers himself lucky to be living out his football dream at the Western Sydney Wanderers. For Lo there could be no better club to hone his craft and build on his skill base.

Born to Vietnamese parents who were happy to escape their war-ravaged country for a better life in Australia, Lo’s family has been a constant source of support and always encouraged his sporting pursuits. His brother is an important part of his life and will drive Lo to the many school and Foxtel National Youth League training sessions without question such is the commitment of the family.

Their influence and inspiration is evident as they have strived to stamp a cultural ethic of “only hard work gets results” on their son.

After receiving an innocent school newsletter home when Lo was younger, the invitation to join the local Guilford McCredie Uniting Soccer Club was too big a temptation to ignore and with his parents’ permission sparked a love of the round ball that has never waned.

He eventually moved into central midfield favouring the higher work rate and the added responsibility. Lo’s love of hard work paid dividends when he was selected to represent his country in the Australian U13 side that competed in Malaysia in 2010. A proud moment that he and his family will never forget.

Considering himself very lucky to attend the renowned Westfields Sports High School Lo takes comfort in knowing that many before him took advantage of the fine sports program on offer and went onto greater sporting success. The likes of Socceroo Harry Kewell and fellow Wanderers Mark Bridge and Aaron Mooy grace the honour board at the distinguished campus in Fairfield West.

He must be doing something right as he and team mate Jake McGing were chosen by Tony Popovic to travel with the senior squad on the recent Wanderers pre-season trip of China and Japan.

The experience of training and playing with the senior group has given him enormous confidence and motivation to focus on his dream of playing in a Sydney Derby. Lo realises that he has a long way to go but with the advice of his coach Trevor Morgan and Tony Popovic to do “simple things of the game perfectly” his dream will become a reality.

The Foxtel National Youth League is the main nursery and pathway for the rising junior talent striving to play in the Hyundai A-League.

Do yourself a favour and get down and support the Foxtel National Youth League and cheer on the young Wanderers on show as it won’t be long before many of these hopefuls get their opportunity to impress the Red and Black faithful at Pirtek Stadium on the big stage.

Martin Lo and his Wanderer’s teammates are the second match of a Marconi Stadium double header on Sunday 10 November kicking-off at 4:10pm following the Westfield W-League team's match against Adelaide United at 2pm.

Wanderers Members receive free entry with all other adults $10 and concession $5.

This article appears courtesy of Western Sydney Wanderers FC:


 Western Sydney Wanderers Website Link: