We sat down with the Wanderers' Trevor Morgan to talk about his career, managing a dual role at the Wanderers and the upcoming season.
Ahead of a big 2014/15 season for the NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers we sat down with our Foxtel National Youth League coach and newly appointed Hyundai A-League assistant coach Trevor Morgan to talk about his career, managing a dual role at the Wanderers and the upcoming season.
A hard working and passionate coach Morgan embodies everything the Western Sydney Wanderers embrace, always exuding enthusiasm for football in Western Sydney and finding new ways to improve himself and the players he works with.
Morgan-s hard work throughout the past two seasons with the Youth League catching the eye of Wanderers head Coach Tony Popovic and earning him a new role at Western Sydney.
After two weeks of pre-season training to settle into his new role we sat down with Trevor and took the chance to get to know the newest member of Tony Popovic-s coaching staff.
Q and A:
Q: You-re obviously passionate about football can you tell us how you fell in love with the game?
A: I played from the age of six and was a decent player in my youth managing to play throughout the state leagues but never really to a professional standard. Once I had finished high school I decided I wanted to be involved in physical education so I completed a three year recreation science/physical education degree. As a part of my degree I had to do a practicum which I did with Football NSW and interestingly the first camp I ever went into there the young players were Brett Emerton, Harry Kewell and Archie Thompson, and from there I completed my levels and fell in love with coaching.
Q: You-re from the Blue Mountains so in essence you-re a Western Sydney boy, what does the Club mean to you from a personal perspective and for football in Western Sydney?
A: I think the Club is something Sydney has been crying out for and I think that if you were to go through the honour role of football in Australia around 50% of our Socceroos would be from the Western Sydney area - even our head coach grew up in Western Sydney. You have this great ethnic mix out here, you have hard working people, and you have a desire to achieve great things with sport often the outlet. For me it is exciting and it is also rewarding that we get to represent and achieve things for those people.
Q: Prior to the Wanderers you were working in the State League and at Westfields sports High can you tell me how you ended up at the Western Sydney Wanderers?
A: It came through a very good relationship with Ante Milicic essentially. I had worked previously with Ante at the Youth World Cup in Egypt in 2009 and had since kept contact. I guess with Ante-s endorsement I caught Popa-s attention and ended up here.
Q: This season as assistant coach is your first professional full time coaching role, can you tell me about that?
A: I have worked for nearly 24 years in training young players in a school environment as a head coach there but to go professionally with a club as a full time staff member this is definitely my first role and one I-m very much looking forward to.
“they asked people-s opinions and they allowed the supporters to be involved even with the naming of the Club which means that there is always a close bond and always a 12th man.”
Q: You were already a part of the Wanderers family through your role as youth league coach what is it like now to have a slightly different role as Tony Popovic-s assistant coach alongside Ian Crook?
A: I think it is going to be a great experience. I was here the day the Wanderers started with just seven players and the first training session so I already have an awareness of what-s done at a senior level but I think this role will help me do a better job with the youth team in terms of training them and preparing them for the first team.
Q: So essentially with the new role you will be juggling the two positions?
A: I don-t see it as juggling realistically there are already four of our youth team players who are training with our first team on a day-to-day basis so I will be primarily with the first team but when there is a clash of matches or training then the youth team take priority; which I guess is why it is so important that we have both Ian Crook and I there for the first team and Popa.
Q: You mentioned that you were here for the Wanderers first day, the Club has since had a fair amount of success can you tell us what you put that down to?
A: It is very simple the Club has made top decisions particularly about who they employ and who they sign. That goes from the head coach, the involvement of Lyall Gorman, John Tsatsimas and the also the players. In response to that everyone who has been employed here in every form has worked above and beyond their roles on a day to day basis giving the Club a standard of exceeding expectations. When you have great people working way beyond normal capacity then great things happen and there becomes a passion for more. On top of that the Club tapped into their support base right from the very beginning they listened to the fans, they asked people-s opinions and they allowed the supporters to be involved even with the naming of the Club which means that there is always a close bond and always a 12th man.
Q: You spent a fair amount of time at Westfields Sports High, what can you tell us about that?
A: When I started Mark Bridge was in year seven and David Carney and Alex Brosque year nine and Jason Culina year ten and even now there are 20 or so boys with professional contracts around the world that I helped coach at Westfields. That was 18 years of my life my time with Westfields I gave a teaching job somewhere else for a chance to start teaching there and now I see many Socceroos, young Socceroos and Matildas that I worked with. Even at the Wanderers there are still boys that are ex-Westfields players that are now part of the first team.
Q: You mentioned a few players that are well known names now can you explain how rewarding it is for you as a coach to see their success and know you played a significant part in what they-ve achieved?
A: You take great pleasure in anybody you know being successful. I have seen a lot come through and although I wouldn-t say you become blasé about it you do come to expect their success in many ways. You see them doing the work, you see them train to get to a new level and you start to expect that they will get certain results so you don-t always then get overly excited about it but you think yes this is another one. That said obviously when you do go to a match and you see them on the pitch, shake their hand, watch them play then it is nice to have that bond from when they were young people. That is always rewarding and never leaves you.
“Everything is running as it should be… We will start to see within the next five or six weeks [the players] get pushed and they will see why we have been doing what we-ve been doing.”
Q: Members of your Youth League team have recently been selected for the Young Socceroos as a coach can you tell us how that feels?
A: It is great, truly. As a coach you want to make good decisions about who you bring in and then you want to help them as much as you can. When they have success firstly that-s an affirmation that you-ve done the right thing, secondly it is the carrot that brings other players to the Club. Definitely the success of Shayne D-Cunha, Daniel Alessi, Alusine Fofanah, and Jaushua Sotirio that have kicked on and gone into national team training camps sends an important message which is that the Club does a great job of furthering its players.
Q: The players that you do have go into selective squads or train with the first team do you see a change in them when they return? Is it something that you have to manage as a youth coach?
A: I think you try to embrace it and talk to them like men and communicate your expectations that this means they can have some leadership in the team. Last year it was mostly Yianni Perkatis that was coming back and featuring for us, now we have Fofanah, Alessi and Sotirio who are training with the senior squad all the time so now there is of course an expectation when they come back that their level of professionalism, their level of performance their fitness, their presentation, their whole approach to football should now be an example. I did see some extra confidence when they first started training with the first team but it wasn-t ever something that you couldn-t accept and I think it is important for other young players to see that confidence, see that someone is a step ahead of them and understand why.
Q: Pre-season started two weeks ago, can you share with us how training is going and how the squad seems to be taking shape?
A: Good, everything is running as it should be. There are some new players who have been brought in and are now brought up to speed on how things are done here. We will start to see within the next five or six weeks where they get pushed and they will see why we have been doing what we-ve been doing.
Q: The season is essentially one big busy schedule with the Westfields FFA Cup then the AFC Champions League Quarter Finals, the Hyundai A-League and then the season finishes back where it started with the Wanderers second ACL campaign, how is the Club preparing for that?
A: To the very best it can be prepared in essence. Details. Details are something that are always covered here and are another big factor in the Wanderers- success so far. There are always questions asked and things discussed thoroughly so although yes this is a busy schedule the planning, preparation and little details will ensure the Club will do well.
Q: You weren-t involved to the same extent for the first half of the ACL with a role primarily as the youth league coach but you are involved now what are your feelings ahead of this and the first team-s other competitions?
A: I was very fortunate across the last 12 months as Tony Popovic asked me to come to all first team home games and help with the warm up before the match and to observe from the grandstand to help out with half time talks, so I have always been encouraged to be involved. Furthermore fortunately when Ante Milicic was away I was able to travel with the Champions League squad to Japan and help out with the home games which has really given me a taste of my new role and these competitions. To have to do it almost every day outside of youth league priorities is something that I am very much looking forward to and an excited by.
Q: You have had a lot of success in terms of your career and those who you have coached; can you tell us what your future goals are for your career?
A: Essentially just to keep working with the best people that I can and keep getting better, and I guess let-s just see where it ends up. If you had asked me three years ago would I be working here full time with Popa I would have I couldn-t have imagined it. Now I am going to take the opportunity to work here as a fulltime staff member and see how much I can improve and be challenged and in maybe in the future the Club will have a new role for me but in the meantime I will enjoy this role as much as I can.