When English midfielder Bradley Fangas was tossing up an offer from the Wagga City Wanderers late last year, the gentle push he needed came in the form of a question.
“Why not just go for it?”
Those were the words imparted by Wanderers coach and fellow Englishman Ross Morgan, as he attempted convince the 20-year-old to leave the comforts of England to join a team he’d never heard of in a city he knew nothing about.
It was then that something clicked for Fangas.
He knew it was time to take the plunge.
“I feel like in football you just have to take risks if you want to get to the furthest possible step,” Fangas said on Thursday, his thick London accent immediately evident.
“Once I spoke to Ross it wasn’t a hard decision to make.”
Fangas is listed as central defensive midfielder and the Wanderers’ brain trust has long been intrigued by his ability to win possession and transition into attack in the blink of an eye.
“I love to defend but I like to create goals as well,” Fangas said.
“I’m more of an interceptor, stopping balls, and I’m a physical player too so I like to get into those 50-50 challenges.”
That is precisely how he made a name for himself at his former club, Wycome, which as fate would have it, was also nicknamed the Wanderers.
The Englishman will also look to play off fellow import Damion Patterson, with whom he has already formed a bond as the pair navigate their new surroundings together.
If the old theory that ‘first impressions are everything’ rings true, Fangas will have no trouble in adjusting, even if the 40 degree days are proving to be an acquired taste.
“It’s very nice here, much smaller and quieter than what I’m used to,” he said.
“It’s great to be out here playing football and enjoying the sport in a nice place where it's hot and sunny, and having Damion here has made it feel more like home because we can really relate to each other’s situations.”
Fangas was scheduled to meet his teammates for the first time at training on Thursday night, in preparation for the team’s upcoming preseason clash in Wangaratta on Sunday.