WARRNAMBOOL is half a world away from the cities of Scotland but a humble soccer side is helping five ex-pats feel at home.
Michael Romanes, Victor Cameron, Paul Docherty, Steve Shields and Corrie Shields are members of Warrnambool and District Soccer League side Jetty Flat Rangers.
The five have turned heads in the WDSL this season, lifting Jetty Flat Rangers to five wins from five matches and scoring 21 of their 25 goals.
Coincidentally, they’re all fans of Glasgow giants Rangers — the Scottish league club which became insolvent in 2012, sparking relegation to the fourth tier. Coach John McMillan said the five had been influential for Jetty Flat Rangers, who wear the navy blue colours of the Scottish national team.
“They play a typical Scottish style of football, they’re hard, aggressive, definitely have the will to win and go for everything,” he said.
“I can tell they’re typical Scottish players. The ball is never lost and that’s what I love about them.
“Coming here, I’ve told them to try and not change their style but when you’re playing in a country town like Warrnambool, some things have to change a little bit.”
McMillan, a Scot, said the five had been in Australia for less than half a decade. “I don’t think I’ve played with so many Scots,” he said.
Cameron has held up the defence at centre back, Corrie Shields runs through the midfield while Steve Shields and Docherty play up front.
But Romanes, also a midfielder, has been the pick of the five. He scored 28 goals last season and has found the net five times this campaign.
“They’re a great bunch of guys. I know people see the aggressive side of them on the pitch but when they finish they’re back to normal,” McMillan said.
Jetty Flat Rangers take on Scotts Creek Lions in a round two catch-up match at Harris Street Reserve tonight from 7pm. The four other WDSL sides have the weekend off. The competition resumes with round seven matches next weekend.
Jetty Flat Rangers lead the standings with 15 points, ahead of Thunder Hawks and Merri Stingrays, who have 10 points each.