World Cup soccer-lights aren’t over yet, but embarking on new voyages with Sailors

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Gabriel TanJuly 10, 2023, 4:30 PMRead in 5 minutes

After spending his entire career in England, Australia international Bailey Wright has embarked on a new adventure when he signed with Singapore Premier League side Lion City Sailors.Lion City Sailors FC

Bailee Wright has come a long way in his career as a footballer.

Even by those standards, after joining the Lion City Sailors on Sunday and signing a two-year deal with the Singapore Premier League team with an option for another 12 months, he is both figuratively and literally You’re embarking on something completely different. expansion.

Born and raised in Australia, strangely enough, in his 13 years as a professional footballer, Wright has only played in England.

His prodigious talent earned him a scholarship to Preston North End, England’s second division league, when he was just 17, and it didn’t take long for him to establish himself in the first team.

Since 2010, when he started his professional career, he has seen the expected ups and downs of the sport, traveling to Bristol City, Sunderland and most recently Rotherham.

They were relegated to the third division of English football, then quickly promoted to the Championship with both Preston and Sunderland.

EFL Trophy Winners Medal in his name in 2021.

Last year’s FIFA World Cup with Australia will probably be a career highlight for many footballers.

After just over six months on the biggest stage the sport has to offer, Wright’s decision to make the SPL his next port of call raises a bit of an eyebrow.

However, he felt that a move to the Sailors would be a perfect fit for him seeking new adventures.

“I was interested in trying something new in football,” Wright told ESPN. “I lived in England for 15 or 16 years and loved every moment of it, but I knew I needed a new challenge.

“I had no prejudice as to what it was, but from the moment I chatted with the members[Sailors management]and finished the Zoom call, I knew something exciting was going on here.

Bailey Wright was part of a football team that advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup by defeating Tunisia and Denmark at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and finishing second in Group C behind France on goal difference. .AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

“I wanted a learning environment where I could grow too. When I saw the facilities and how everything was run, I knew this was the place to go in the right direction.”

Wright, who just turned 31 later this month, still has a lot to accomplish in his career.

Under normal circumstances, he could have returned to his home country to play elsewhere in Asia or in the A-League, but both were among the options before the centre-back chose to sign with the Sailors. In fact, it was revealed that it was in

Now, at club level, his goals are to help the Sailors regain their last SPL title in 2021 and to make a name for themselves in the continent’s AFC Champions League following a stellar debut last year. is.

And from a personal point of view, Wright is adamant that a move to a lesser-known competition does not prevent the player’s continuing desire to continue representing the country. Especially after the excitement of playing in the World Cup, more exciting challenges are on the agenda.

“I still have ambitions,” he explained. “I want to win here with the Sailors.

“And I have ambitions for the national team. There is – so I want to continue to play at the highest possible level and continue to achieve those things.

“I felt that the opportunity to come here and try something new gave me motivation.

“We’ve seen the (Singapore Premier) League have a long way to go to get to where they want to be, but that’s part of the excitement of being part of a big project.”

In fact, for a club and competition with hopes of one day being ranked among Asia’s elite, the use of a World Cup player of Wright’s ilk looks like a real coup and a step in the right direction.

With the Lion City Sailors scoring significantly more goals than their Singapore Premier League title rivals, Bailey Wright is still firmly on track to reclaim his last crown in 2021. He is expected to go straight into the defense of his team.Lion City Sailors FC

Still, try to tell the down-to-earth Wright that his credentials could soon be a real draw at SPL stadiums.

“Honestly, when you know who I am, it doesn’t really come to mind,” the Victorian added, frankly and a little baffled.

“I am very proud and honored to be in the World Cup, but I am just me. I am who I am, what I have been and in my career. I am here to do what brought me here.

“The different experiences that happen along the way are incredible and I can only elevate myself in terms of how I can help the group, but I have a lot to learn from the boys here. I am excited about it.”

“(Being a World Cup player) I think coming here just raised expectations, but the truth is I’m just a normal guy.”

Even though Frank is sincere and has already achieved so much in his career, the unassuming Wright looks like a normal guy off the field.

But on the field, both he and the Sailors will expect something out of the ordinary in the coming weeks, months and even years.

After all, that’s why Singapore was chosen as the next chapter in Bailey Wright’s adventures.

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