Angus Thurgate’s journey to the ALM

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Angus Thurgate is one of the Newcastle Jets’ most promising young stars at just 22-years-old.

But the road to success has not always been easy for the midfielder.

Thurgate first started playing football at the age of five, with Port Saints FC, after his mother registered him in the sport.

“I don’t think my mum wanted me to play any other sports,” he said.

“My dad grew up playing rugby league and hockey, but my mum wasn’t too fond of me playing that, so she threw me into football, and I loved it straight away.”

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Having grown up in Port Macquarie, Thurgate was not sure if he would ever have the facilities to turn his passion into his career; as opportunities for a young, rising star were few and far between. But the Newcastle Jets had other ideas.

“I was scouted to come down and play for the Jets Academy,” he said.

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“I never really thought from where I’d come from that there was an opportunity for a professional career, but I’m very grateful for it.”

Despite the incredible opportunity that came his way, it was not an easy ride from there to the top.

After the school bell rang, Thurgate and his parents would hop in the car, drive two-and-a-half-hours to Newcastle, he would train for 90 minutes, then they would all get back in the car for another two-and-a-half-hour drive back home.

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This cycle was repeated three days a week.

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With the hours on the road beginning to take their toll, Thurgate took a leap of faith and made the decision to leave home at the age of 15 to move to Newcastle.

“I moved out of home and moved in with a care family in Newcastle which was another player from Port and his father,” he said.

“I’m very grateful for the support they gave me, especially while I was growing up.”

After working hard and proving himself, Thurgate soon found himself playing in Newcastle’s youth team, before debuting for the Jets in the A-League Men at just 17.

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“I made it into the youth team and before I knew it, I made my debut at 17, so it was a pretty smooth transition,” he said.

“It was during quite a successful year for the club. I got my first taste of elite football and I think I played maybe seven games that season and was part of the grand final, so it was very exciting and surreal.”

Thurgate continued to work hard and impress his coaches, despite his debut, which saw him sign a long-term deal with the club.

“The following year after my debut I signed a pretty long-term deal with the club,” he said.

“I decided to stay with the club because I was very happy with where I was.”

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Continuing to put in work has paid dividends for Thurgate, as he finds himself a consistent starter for the Jets and one of the club’s top performers.

As the closest thing Thurgate has to a home-town team, the Jets and the wider Newcastle community continue to impress him.

“It’s a one town team and when we’re playing and playing well, the whole town is behind us,” he said.

“I saw that very early on in my career with the Jets and it’s one of the best parts.

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Feature Image Credit: Sproule Sports Focus

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Grace Clegg
Grace Clegg
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2021/22 season. Studying a Bachelor of Communication (News Media and PR) at the University of Newcastle. Coffee addict.

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