When you are flying along at the top of the ladder like the Warrnambool Wolves, you can afford to let some of your players jet off to Europe.
Four of the Wolves, who are a game clear on top of the Warrnambool and District Soccer League with six wins and one loss, are heading to Russia to see the world’s best soccer players strut their stuff in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Captain Corrie Shields, American import Isaac Monson, Woody Bucci and club president Carlos Del Rio will all be showing their national colours at the World Cup.
Bucci, who is backpacking through Russia, said he did not know his teammates would be in Russia at the same time.
“It’s pretty funny that four of us are going from the senior team and all of us are going separately,” he said.
“We didn’t know each other were going until we talked about it at training.”
Del Rio said he would be conflicted with who he supports at the World Cup.
“I was born in Peru and I moved over here when I was 10, so I’ve been a mad Socceroos fan for a long time but still have something special with my homeland Peru,” Del Rio said.
“All the stars have aligned and both teams are in it and I’ve been able to get tickets. I have been trying to get to the world cup for 12 years, so this time I’m going with my son.”
Shields will also be in Russia with his dad to cheer on Australia to possible World Cup success.
The Wolves have a new head coach this year with Craig Brooks taking over the sideline role from Del Rio. he has implemented a 4-3-3 formation and it has paid dividends for the Wolves.
Bucci said the change of coach and the influx of juniors coming into the senior ranks had effected the squad.
“The younger boys have really rejuvenated some of the older guys around the club and the new coach has brought a lot more structure than last year,” the defender said. “We did quite well last year but this year there is a different feeling.”