Wollongong Wolves’ energetic right-back Taylor McDonald and his teammates have set out their clear 2021 objectives for the upcoming National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s season and that’s winning everything that’s on offer.
The 2019 National Premier League Champions as well as Premiers have been going through their pre-season paces under the watchful eye of former Coach of the Year recipient and ex-Socceroo Luke Wilkshire with one thing on their minds and that’s winning silverware.
“Our objective hasn’t changed from the moment Luke took over the club," he told nplnsw.com.au
“We want to win everything that is put in front of us – the Premiership, the Championship, everything.
“We’ve secured a position in the Round of 32 in the FFA Cup and want to create history on that front as well.
“Pre-season has been rigorous and challenging. Lukey’s conditioning is second-to-none and the disappointing end to 2020 season has fuelled the boys throughout the off-season to go one better in 2021.
“We’re fit, firing and ready for Rockdale Illinden come Round 1.”
Recruitment wise the Wolves have done well with some quality signings that are set to boost their chances of winning silverware this season.
They have however lost some experienced stars to the local Illawarra Premier League with former skipper Chris Price and experienced defenders Nick Littler and Guy Knight the major absentees from the Wolves 2021 squad.
“It is no secret that we have lost the experience of Pricey, Litts and Knighty within the squad all of which gave their everything for the club. The current players however have stepped up to leadership roles filling that void.
“Luke has brought in some exciting talent to replace those key players with the likes of former Blacktown City star Leroy Jennings, Corrimal’s Van Elia, Aidan Munford from Gold Coast City FC, Bilal Belkadi from the Central Coast Mariners Academy and Fletcher Macfarlane from Sydney FC’s NPL side.
“We’ve also promoted some young guns from the 20’s.
“The entire senior squad is hungry and tenacious; competition for spots is healthy and exciting and one all us footballers are really relishing.”
McDonald is hoping for another breakout season after finishing the 2020 year on a high winning selection into NSW’s Senior Men’s State team that took out the inaugural Gibb-Masters Cup defeating Queensland 4-2 on penalties.
“The call-up for selection came as a bit of a shock to be honest. I felt extremely humbled and honoured to be selected by the panel and represent NSW.
“The experience itself was unreal with an even better bunch of blokes.
“It’s definitely something I will always be proud to say I was a part of and I am hoping that I can experience that again for as long as this great initiative keeps running.”
Off the pitch, McDonald, a primary school teacher, kicked a different kind of goal during the off-season when he proposed to now fiancé and fellow school teacher Stephanie Ugrinovska.
“We got engaged a few weeks ago overlooking the Sydney Harbour bridge. We were ‘supposedly’ attending an engagement party of a close friend. On the way to the venue we stopped by the scenic point and I dropped the knee.
“We’re actually both Primary School teachers and met at work.
“I turned up to the wrong school on a casual day by accident, we spoke in passing and I guess you could say the rest is history.”
Not bad from the Wolves’ ‘Mr Nice Guy’ who cannot wait for the new season to kick-start.