The desire to represent Wagga at the highest level will likely see Lake Albert’s gun pairing of Fred and Henri Gardner make a permanent shift to Wagga City Wanderers next season.
The Sharks duo have been among the Pascoe Cup’s best for the better part of a decade with both playing a key role in Lake Albert’s grand final victory over Young Lions.
Now, the brothers are seeking their next footballing challenge and Henri has already put his cards on the table.
“I just want to play for home town and represent Wagga and Wanderers on the big stage,” he said.
“I absolutely loved playing those couple of games for Wanderers at the end of this year’s season and it’s just that step up from Pascoe, you know.
“Freddy and I have done it all here – we’ve won grand finals and all that so we just want to push ourselves and I think Wanderers is the best way to do that.”
Henri’s match-winning goal against Balmain FC back in August saw Wanderers break through for their only home win in 2018 and the 28-year-old striker is eager to establish himself as the side’s attacking linchpin.
“Scoring that goal was just unreal and I really want to be up at number nine and helping Wanderers out,” he said.
“It’s such a good feeling playing in front of a Wagga crowd at home.”
Fred has yet to make himself fully available for Wanderers duty but conceded his playing services would come “as a package deal” with Henri’s.
“Honestly, I haven’t figured it all out yet, but I know that I want to concentrate on Wanderers and Henri does too,” he said.
“I’ll go where he goes and we’ve always been like that since we were kids, so at the moment that’s where we’re looking.
“It’s amazing to represent your home town and seeing people come out to support us as a Wagga club was unbelievable – that’s something I’m keen to be a part of.”
It’s unclear whether the Lake Albert duo will continue their Pascoe Cup tenure under a dual-registered arrangement but Fred, an incumbent Sharks co-captain, believes they will have the support of their club mates should they make the full-time shift.
“I’ve spoken about me and Henri going with the Sharks boys and they’re just happy for us – it’s just the next step.”
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