Pararoos midfielder Angus MacGregor says perennial runners-up Victoria will arrive at the 2019 National CP Football Championships with an insatiable hunger to take out the gold medal this year.
It’s 24-year-old MacGregor’s ninth Championships appearance and he’s determined to make this one better than any he’s played in before.
“I’m desperate to win a National Championship,” MacGregor said.
“I’ve got seven second-place medals and one third, so I’m very desperate to win.
“Our squad is looking very good, and I’m looking forward to playing.”
The tournament, which has been held since 2004, has kicked off and will run over four days at Football NSW Headquarters in Sydney's west.
Despite being only 24, MacGregor is the second-oldest player in the Victoria squad, and feels the responsibility on his shoulders to become a leader amongst the youthful playing group this year.
“I’m in an interesting situation where I’m 24 but I’m one of the oldest players in our team, I definitely feel a responsibility to look after the younger guys and give them advice when I can.
“It’s part of the job I suppose, I’m very happy to do it and I hope some of the young Victoria boys can make it into the Australian side one day.”
And in their quest to become Pararoos the young players have a perfect role model in MacGregor to look up to: someone who started his journey with the national side six years ago.
“My first Pararoos camp was in 2013 and I didn’t get picked which was a bit sad, but it’s to be expected,” MacGregor said.
“Then in 2015 I got invited to another camp and didn’t make the side again.
“But two days before the team was due to fly out (for the 2015 CP Football World Championships) I got a call from the then-manager asking if I’d be free for the next three weeks because there’d been an injury.
“So I packed my bags, deferred all of my university exams that were happening that week, flew to Sydney and then I was off to England.
“I got a very last minute call-up, so that was my first experience in the squad.”
And so, with a touch of good fortune MacGregor’s Pararoos career flourished, but that’s not the only time a bit of luck has directed the attacking midfielder further along his footballing path.
“I actually fell into (football),” MacGregor said.
“There was a Youth Paralympics Games held in Melbourne in 2009 and I got a call to see if I wanted to go for athletics.
“I didn’t have any interest in athletics, so my Dad asked if there was any football being played and there was, so I was lucky enough to be picked in that team and I’ve been playing CP football ever since.”
That decision proved a good one for MacGregor who has gone on to represent Australia with the Pararoos, but despite his great pride in playing for the national side there’s one blotch on his resume he’s eager to amend: winning the National CP Football Championships title.
“To win a Championship is my main priority when I play Nationals,” MacGregor said.
“The Pararoos aren’t my main priority when I’m at Nationals, I’m here to win.
“This is my ninth Nationals and I haven’t won one.
“We have a very young squad and it will be a good year for us.”