The South Coast Flame Mixed SAP and Youth boys teams had a special visit this week from Western Sydney Wanderers player Tate Russell, who came to talk with the boys about his soccer journey and pathway to success.

Tate is a Wollongong local boy who has played for The Wanderers for over 7 years since he was 16 years old. His pathway to the top was not smooth sailing, having to work hard and overcome several challenges along the way including injuries and adversity in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. Tate spoke to the boys about having a good support network in order to get through the tough times of injury or non-selection in order to reset his love for the game and his passion to live it to the fullest.

The boys had a chance to ask him the big questions in a Q & A session about having a dream and what goes into making that a reality. It takes hard work, commitment, dedication and perseverance and the motivation to keep pushing himself to be greater. Tate explained that Wanderer training sessions were intense and thorough, and he stressed the importance of the need to spend extra time training to work on areas of weakness, and that learning to be a better player never stops.

Tate spent time with every age group, guiding their training sessions and giving tips and hints to improve their game. He took the time to sign players jerseys and boots, hats, shin pad covers and even goalie gloves which all the players loved. After watching the teams train, Tate made a special presentation of a signed Wanderers jersey to a player who he felt was focused, listened carefully, executed instructions and was willing to learn. That lucky player was Luka Batur from the Under 9 Mixed SAP team – congratulations to Luka!

What an exciting afternoon for our Mixed SAP and Youth boys squads to be able to speak with and interact with a great player like Tate, who is living the dream as a professional player! Thank you to Technical Director Matt Borg for organising the visit and encouraging our youngsters to be their best and see where hard work can take you.

A follow up Zoom session for the players with Tate will be held soon with details to be advised.

A wonderful example of a great player and solid role model for all our Flame juniors.




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