Updated: Feb 10
Wellington Phoenix defender Liam McGing is not only a big fan of the risotto at the Fraternity Club; he also loves to immerse himself in the waters of North Wollongong Beach.
The promising 22-year-old A-League footballer is passionate about pasta and pristine beaches. And he loves nothing more than combining both to whet his appetite before and after a game.
“I’m from Campbelltown, so it’s good to be back home. I’m doing the 50-minute commute each day (Wollongong to Campbelltown and back). A lot of the boys (the New Zealanders in the side) have sacrificed a lot to be here,” he said.
Recently, the Phoenix confirmed that they’ll be based in Wollongong for the A-League season, enjoying the region and dining at The Frat.
“When I was younger, Wollongong was my local beach. I’d go to North Wollongong Beach. I still do,” McGing said.
“We (Phoenix team) now train at 9.30am, go the Fraternity Club for lunch and then I head back to Campbelltown.”
Liam says the Phoenix is a tight-knit group with a clear focus — to be the best combined with an “achievable” eye on the premiership plate.
He acknowledges that the Frat has aided the players and staff to achieve their dreams, starting with quality meals each day.
“The risotto we have before games is always a favourite,” he said. “The Frat has a nice feel. It gets us lads together and bonds us over lunch. There’s some good food. A lot of the lads often stay back for coffee afterwards and chill out.”
Liam says he has huge aspirations with the Phoenix. “I play as a ball-playing centre back and add some banter to the club. Being young, I’m always there to learn, but I do love playing out from the back.”
“I’d like to play more games this season and knuckle-down a starting position and make it my own. I’d like to be playing home finals at WIN Stadium; that would be nice.”
His brother, Jake, is also an A-League regular, with Macarthur FC. “I’d like to think we’re best mates with football,” he said with a chuckle.
“Last season when I made my debut against him (Roar), he was substituted before I came on. We ended up winning that game, so I’ve got that over him. I hope we get a chance to match up against each other this season; that’ll be exciting.” - By NATHAN SMPSON