Tumut footballers plying their trade with Wanderers

Megan Castle in action for the Wagga City Wanderers first grade team. Photo: Wagga City Wanderers.

Tumut Eagles products continue to spread their wings away from home with the Wagga City Wanderers in the strong National Premier League Capital Football competition. 

Local players are doing their best in all age groups, with the likes of Megan Castle and Dylan Piper-Bye playing first grade, while youngsters Jim Howell and Brody McDonald are playing their first full season of competitive Capital Football in the under 13s. 

Wanderers President Brendan Flanagan was proud of the Wanderers’ strong links with Tumut football. 

“We have a long history of Tumut players turning out for the Wanderers,” Flanagan said. 

“You had Mitch Henman, who spent years playing for us and Dylan Piper-bye has played for a few years.

“There has always been a half a dozen or more Tumut players across the years in junior and seniors and it is great to see.”

The Wanderers have worked hard in recent years to give Wagga-based and regional footballers the best chance to make that step up to representative football. 

“We want to provide those pathways, it’s not just a Wagga team, but a regional team,” Flanagan said. 

“It has always been for the betterment of football and that was one of the challenges; getting a lot of clubs to see the bigger picture and long-term view, and now most clubs want to see their players taking that next step and that is great.”

In the under 18s, there is a trio of Tumut players in Daniel Castle, Ethan Watt and Matthew Mitchell, who have their Wagga Wanderers side travelling nicely in the NPL Capital Football competition.

The Wagga side sits fifth, with seven wins from 13 games and all three players have made their mark, scoring goals and keeping the young side in a competitive position. 

Most recently, the Wanderers under 18s drew 2-all with Canberra Olympic FC in Canberra and this week, they are again on the road, taking on the third placed Brindabella Blues FC 

It has been a tough season to date for the Wagga City Wanderers women’s first grade team in the NPL Capital Football 2021 season.  

The Wagga side has only won the two games from 12 outings and sit second last. 

Tumut’s Megan Castle has been a shining light for the side, scoring six times in those 12 games, but the local product will be tested when taking on Canberra Croatia FC this Sunday at Gissing Oval. 

Canberra Croatia sits top of the table and have only lost one game in 2021 and to make matters worse, the last time they played Wanderers, they belted the Wagga side 6-0. 

It has also been a long, tough season for Dylan Piper-Bye in the NPL Capital Football men’s first grade and under 23s competitions. 

The 18-year-old, who is back playing in his first season following knee surgery, has played eight games in under 23s and two games in seniors, most recently suiting up for first grade in the Wanderer’s 6-1 loss to Queanbeyan FC. 

Piper-Bye will be in action this Saturday at Gissing Oval, with both the under 23s and senior  Wanderers, who are both last in their respective competitions,, hosting the Canberra White Eagles. 

The Wanderers under 14s that has Tumut’s Braydan Salmon and Jiemin Shang have had a mixed 2021, registering two wins and three draws from 12 games. 

After a tough 5-0 loss to Canberra Olympic FC last weekend, the youngsters visit the Brindabella Blues FC on Saturday. 

In the under 13s, local products Jim Howell and Brody McDonald have helped the Wanderers to three wins sixth place on the NPL Capital Football ladder. 

On Saturday, Wagga went down 6-4 to Canberra Olympic and will hope to bounce back against a winless Brindabella on Saturday.