20-year-old Lachie Wales is living his A-League dream. Born and raised on the Central Coast, Lachie spoke about his incredible journey from A-League ball-boy, to A-League baller.
Hailing from Wamberal, Lachie Wales has spent his entire life on the Coast, following the Central Coast Mariners.
On Saturday January 6, Wales made his second ever Hyundai A-League appearance for his hometown club and stole the headlines by delivering an assist with his first touch a minute after coming on. The assist resulted in Blake Powell tapping home the equaliser to earn a point away from home against Melbourne Victory.
The following week, Wales was thrown into the boiler of an #F3Derby as a first half substitute and backed up his impressive showing against Victory with a promising performance against Newcastle.
On Sunday, Wales faces the exciting prospect of featuring at Central Coast Stadium in front of his friends and family for a club that he bleeds for.
“I’m a Central Coast boy and I grew up in Wamberal,” Wales said. “I played my juniors for Terrigal United before going on to play for Central Coast in the academy for a few years now and I’m really enjoying my football here.
“I’ve always been going to Mariners games and I used to be a ball-boy at the Mariners games so it’s a big dream of mine. I love putting on the jersey whenever I get the chance.
“Playing at Central Coast Stadium would obviously mean a lot to me. I’ve spent my whole life here; my family are here so I would have a pretty big support group out there and if I did get the nod I would just give it my best shot,” Wales said.
A humble Wales reflected on his assist against Melbourne Victory as ‘just doing his job’ and thanked Head Coach Paul Okon for showing confidence in the young winger.
“It was good to get an assist – that’s your job as a sub," Wales said. "You come on in the hot weather and the game opens up a bit so I am just trying to repay the faith that Paolo puts in me – it’s my job to come on and make a difference.
“I felt more excitement than nerves, I love being out there and I just want to do a job for the team. Paolo believes in me; my teammates believe in me so I just go out there and do my best.
“You just need to play your natural game. If Paolo likes what he sees, he likes what he sees. I just always try to put my best foot forward.
“He’s a great coach who knows a lot about the game. He puts a lot of confidence in me, I am really grateful in the opportunity he has given me,” Wales said.
With seven players unavailable for this Sunday’s match against Melbourne City, the Terrigal junior says that the players who are tasked to step up will look to take their opportunity with both hands.
“It’s obviously tough when you lose experienced players but it’s not an excuse,” Wales said. “We have to go out there on Sunday against Melbourne City, we have to win the game and the injuries will be no excuse.
“I’ll continue to back my ability. If Paolo decides to give me the start, I will take that opportunity with both hands,” Wales said.
A Mariners’ fan from the get-go, Lachie was asked which players he enjoyed watching from the stands and which players act as mentors now that he is a part of the playing group.
“Growing up my favourite players at the Mariners were Tomi Rogic, I also liked McGlinchey when he was here who scored a lot of great goals,” Wales said. “I’ve always looked up to Josh Rose and Storm Roux, Storm is a younger player but he is very experienced and gives me a lot of advice.
“Alan Baro, the captain is very good to me. He spends a lot of time with me, which fills me with confidence. Tom Hiariej & Wout Brama are also really great guys and really good to play with,” Wales said.
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 14
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne City
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvMCY & #CCMFC