The Stepping Stone to Success

1912010 -  Step

Western Pride FC has always considered ourselves to be a stepping stone in our players and staff’s footballing journey. The club has always encouraged our members to step forward, not sideways in their footballing development and reach their dreams of playing, working or coaching in higher leagues.  


In light of current players, Jermaine Chuita, Darryl ‘Buddha’ Barton, Pat Smith and Josh Boyle recently trailing with professional clubs, we look back at some of our former club members who have taken their footballing journey to the next level. 


Holly McQueen 

Holly first found her passion for football at the tender age of five. Since then she has captained Pride’s Under 15 NPLW team, represented Queensland at several junior levels and made her Young Matildas debut earlier this year. McQueen is currently signed to Brisbane Roar FC’s W-League team.  


Elli Chapple 

After accepting a scholarship with Ipswich Girls' Grammar School in 2018, Chapple spent a season at Briggs Road before stints with the Roar/NTC and Lions FC before making her W-League debut for the Brisbane Roar. Currently playing for The Gap FC, Chapple featured in the 2017 Young Matildas Camp and toured with the Australian School Girls Team in 2018–2019.  


Dylan Wenzel-Halls 

Dylan Wenzel-Halls spent time in Pride’s Youth system before being recruited by the Roar for their youth program. After the Roar released the striker, Dylan returned to Briggs Road and made his senior team debut in 2017. In his 29 appearances, Wenzel-Halls bagged 40 goals and took centre stage in Pride’s 2017 NPL Queensland Grand Final victory over Moreton Bay United.  


Dylan’s form in the NPL caught the eye of Brisbane Roar scouts once again and he soon signed his first professional contract with the Queensland A-League side. DWH has been a regular fixture in Robbie Fowler’s Brisbane Roar squad this season.  

Harry Sawyers 

Sawyers made his first-team debut for Western Pride in 2015 before spending a season in the Roar’s Youth system. In 2017 Harry moved to the Newcastle Jets and made 5 appearances for the A-League side before returning to Briggs Road.  


After the 2017 NPLQLD season, Sawyers signed for the Philippines Football League outfit Davao Aguilas, winning the clubs Golden Boot Award despite arriving midway through the season.  


2018 saw Harry loaned to Hong Kong side Tai Po where he scored a hat trick on debut. Tai Po went on to win the Hong Kong Premier League that season and competed in the AFC Cup.  


In 2020 Sawyers will return to Australia, playing for South Melbourne FC in Victoria’s NPL competition.  


Ajdin “AJ” Fetahagic  

Fetahagic made 10 appearances for WPFC in 2015 before signing his first professional contract with Bosnian-Herzegovinian club FK Velez Mostar. AJ later returned to Australia with South Melbourne.  


Oscar Woods 

Oscar signed with English side Burnley in 2017 but due to International Clearance issues, he was afforded very little chances to impress, limited to training and friendly matches. When Woods’ scholarship ended in May 2019 he returned to Australia and has since made 4 appearances for Brisbane in the Y-League.  


Dan Hall 

Dan joined the Central Coast Mariners in 2018 after impressing club officials during a two-day trial. Hall was signed to a youth development contacted and featured in the A-League side’s NPL and Y-League squads.  


The talented midfielder made his senior debut for the Pride in 2017 in a match against Moreton Bay United and went on to score his first senior goal against SWQ Thunder. Hall was a prominent feature in Pride’s 2017 NPL Grand Final Victory.  


Alex Parsons  

Alex Parsons signed with the Central Coast Mariners after catching the eye of club officials during Pride’s 2019 NPLQLD campaign.  


Yet to make his Mariners debut, the 19-year-old told the Queensland Times that "it's a good opportunity but now I think this is where the real hard work kind of starts. This is where you either sink or swim, or you go and progress and go on, or you go back to the NPL. But now I'm in a good place so hopefully, I can just keep working and something can come from it.'' 


Nick Haworth   

Nick is another former Pride player who has made a successful transition to a higher footballing level. After completing a Bachelor of Sports Coaching, Performance and Analysis from the University of Canterbury in 2018, Nick became the Head Analyst at Wellington Phoenix. Haworth is currently the Head Of Analysis at the Central Coast Mariners.  


Karl Dodd  

Dodd’s was recruited as Western Pride’s senior head coach in 2014 after a brief stint as Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Newcastle Jets. Partway through the 2015 NPL season, Dodd accepted an offer from the Brisbane Roar to become the club’s High-Performance Manager. In 2017 it was announced that Karl had been appointed as the Head Coach of the Guam National Team.  


Graham Harvey 

After a two year stint as Head Coach of the now-defunct QSL side the Whitsunday Miners, Harvey spent several years working overseas for Universities and professional clubs. In 2015 he took charge of Pride’s senior squad and guided the club to their inaugural NPL Grand Final win in 2017.  


Harvey departed the club in 2018 to become Head Coach of the Eastern Long Lions FC in Hong Kong. Graham is currently the Assistant Coach of the U16 Chinese Women’s National Team. 


Lorena Maggio 

Lorena was Western Pride’s inaugural woman’s coach in 2015, spending a season in charge. Before that Maggio made her professional playing debut for Adelaide United in the 2012/13 seasons before heading overseas to play for New York Magic in the USL W-League. 


Gabor Ganczer 

Gabor was our clubs Technical Director for several years after working for Perth Glory and the Roar in analysis roles.  


Before moving to Australia, Ganzcer spent many years working for the Hungarian National Team, Ferencvárosi Torna Club and Debreceni VSC.  


Gabor is currently the State Technical Director at Football Queensland.

Words: David Reid

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