From my time writing this blog I have come to understand that some footballers will travel anywhere to follow their dream but there aren’t many places further from home than Australia and that’s exactly where Bradley Fangas has ended up.
“It all happened so quick, if I’m honest,” says the 20-year-old. “I was just starting to play again after I recovered from a MCL injury when an agent who works with clubs in Australia had mentioned that a club were interested in having me over. It was good [timing] as I was looking for something new.”
Having spent the majority of his football career staying relatively close to his Croydon home playing for Tooting & Mitcham before moving to the academies of professional sides Stevenage and Wycombe Wanderers, the move provided a real change for the midfielder and one which he did not want to turn down, even if his mother was apprehensive.
“I had never been to Australia before but my dad wanted me to go and seize the opportunity given to me which I thank him for.
“My mum did too, although she wasn’t head over heels with the fact that I would be so far away from home but she understands the sacrifices that are made in this game.”
The first thing which hit the midfielder on his arrival was the sheer heat of the Australian summer.
“I came when it was summer and it was 40 degrees, which took me a lot of time adjusting too it was pretty hard at first but now it’s cooler which works fine for me.
“Thankfully, it’s starting to get a bit colder now.”
After adjusting to the weather, Fangas,who describes himself as physical player who likes to get stuck into fifty-fifties, then had to settle into his new surroundings which are a far cry from his London home. The midfielder signed for Wagga City Wanderers, a team who play in the New South Wales State League against sides such as the Hurstville City Minotaurs and the University of NSW.
“I live in a small town called Wagga. it’s a quiet place, if I’m honest, which is good as there isn’t any distractions.
“When I’m not training, I mostly spend my free time watching shows on Netflix and speaking to people from back home ”
Of course moving across the world allows the 20-year-old to explore a whole new way of living, something he is keen to spend more time doing.
“I haven’t really had the chance to travel around as much as I would like to but I did go to Canberra and watched a NRL game for the first time, which was a good experience.
“Hopefully I can go places like Sydney, not just for my matches, and Melbourne soon if I get the chance.”
The former Stevenage man will have to fit that in around his schedule at his new club as he works in a local warehouse alongside training two days a week, something he says is quite different from training four times a week back at home.
Despite that, he is fully focused on his playing time with Wagga City as he looks to help his side off the bottom of the table. Fangas has appeared in all seven games so far this season for his new club scoring once but his team have managed just one win so far.
“The standard here is a lot different to what it is in the UK but it’s still very good with players coming from abroad and NPL (National Premier League, second tier in Australia) sides. I didn’t really know what to expect, which is a good factor in itself.”
It’s clear that Fangas wants to make the most of his opportunity and it seems like the move to Australia has been a confidence boosting move so far, even with his side bottom of the table.
“Well I don’t really know if I’m honest,” he says when asked what the future holds.
“The gaffer and I, who I must say had shown great belief in me, thinks maybe if I decide to go back to England I can hopefully be seen by a National League or League 2 side, who knows.
“But I still have to keep my head down and see where this takes me.”
“I’ve also thought about playing in Scandinavia but we’ll just have to see how that goes.”
Perhaps Fangas could return to play in Europe, like his former Stevenage teammate and good friend Andrei Famosaya who has played in Lithuania.
One thing for sure is that this 20-year-old is willing to commit to a career in football and if travelling across the world won’t stop him, not a lot will.