Around the grounds: McGing commits to Phoenix, Former ball boy signs with Mariners

Wellington Phoenix’s squad continues to take shape ahead of the new season with defender Liam McGing signing a one-year contract extension with the club.

The 21-year-old made his debut last season and made three appearances for Ufuk Talay’s troops as the club made the Finals Series.

“Liam brings a solid defensive presence to the centre back position and he helps to shore up our depth in the backline,” coach Talay said of the 6’3” defender.

“It’s good to have him back in the squad and we look forward to watching him continue to grow; we’ll be counting on him to contribute next season.” 

McGing and the rest of the Phoenix squad have arrived in Australia and will be based at the University of Wollongong for the next three weeks for a pre-season camp.

Mariners catch Hatch on Scholarship deal

Central Coast Mariners have added to their defensive stocks with young fullback Matt Hatch signing a scholarship deal with the club.

The 20-year-old, born and raised on the Coast, is an exciting prospect and boasts electric pace and has come through the club’s NPL2 outfit.

“It really is a dream come true for me, I used to go to all the games, I was a ball boy,” Hatch said.

“I’ve always wanted to play for the Mariners, because they are my hometown team and it’s just an unreal feeling to be here now.”

“I had a few cracks in pre-seasons, and last years was a real eye opener for me to think that I could actually have a chance at a contract.”

“It showed me where I could be if I put my head down and worked hard so I used this past NYL and NPL season to really give it a crack and I’m pleased that I’m getting rewarded for all the hard work I’ve put in."

CONFIRMED: Champness secures loan move to Roar
NEWS: Wellington Phoenix Statement on Season 2020/21

Reds lock-in first pre-season clash

Adelaide United fans can get a first look at how the club is shaping up for the 2020/21 Season when Carl Veart’s troops play their first pre-season match on Wednesday night.

The Reds will take on local NPL side Adelaide Blue Eagles at Marden Sports Complex, with Veart – and new assistant Ross Aloisi – to give the majority of the squad some game time.

“We’re a few weeks into our pre-season preparations now, and obviously still a couple of months away from the A-League season getting underway, but to have locked-in a friendly with Blue Eagles will really help our progression,” Veart said. 

“There’s only so much you can do in training sessions, but a relatively significant part of preparing for the season is gaining match fitness. 

“Blue Eagles are a strong side who are still playing competitive matches, so will be sharp and fit. 

“It’s the type of test we need at the moment, so we can see where we are positioned and how much further we have to push the boys to get them to the level we require from them.” 

The Reds will wear their new home kit for the match, which kicks off at 7pm local time.

READ: All players signed for the 2020/21 season
Around the grounds: McKinna addresses Jets uncertainty, Butterfield's Victory introduction, two clubs return to training

Adelaide United Home Jersey 2020/21
The Reds will wear their new home kit for the first time on Wednesday night

Wanderers’ Adam named African Cup NSW Ambassador

Western Sydney Wanderers forward Mohamed Adam has been named an ambassador for the 2020 African Cup NSW, which gets underway in Blacktown on Saturday.

Adam, who migrated to Australia from Sudan in 2004, is working as a community ambassador for the event, which is entering it’s 21st year.

The Western Sydney product was promoted to the Wanderers first team last July and made a dream start to his senior career after scoring on his club debut in the FFA Cup.

Adam migrated to Australia in 2004 from Sudan and is proud to be working with the community as an ambassador for the 2020 African Cup. 

“I feel very privileged to be an ambassador for the 2020 African Cup NSW, playing in the A-League and having a lot of young kids looking up to me gives me that sense of motivation to keep fighting for the South Sudanese, Sudanese and African community in general,” said Adam.

“The African Cup NSW is a wonderful opportunity for young talent to showcase themselves and show what they’re about, taking their game to the next level. 

“Words can’t describe how much talent there is in the African community. Without opportunity, there’s not much of a chance that you can show your talent so I feel like with this African Cup being held at our facility (Wanderers Centre of Football) players can take their game to the next level.”

Matches will take place over the next three weekends before a tournament final on Saturday, December 12.

READ: ‘I don't want to be part of the club’ – Jets star Ibini wants out following Robinson exit
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