Football

Ziggy Gordon on his less than ordinary football life

By Ben McNicol

He could’ve stayed in his Scottish Premiership comfort zone. But throughout his career Ziggy Gordon has never been the one for taking the easy option.

After a second spell with Hamilton Academical between 2018-2019 there were offers on the table, but the 29-year-old defender swapped South Lanarkshire for Sydney as he joined ambitious A-League outfit Western Sydney Wanderers.

Sydney, Australia

However, two years later, the Scot has become a free agent after a change of direction at the club and has opened up on his time in Down Under and his ambitions to one day be the main man in the dug-out.

“It’s been really, really interesting. I’ve made a life for myself, and my wife and we got married here. Comfort is the enemy for me. I like to be uncomfortable, and it’s served me well so far, Gordon said.

“There’s been a lot of good times but also a lot of difficult ones that I’m sure everyone else had during the COVID-19 period. I haven’t been home since I came over here in 2019 and have seen my parents once, and that was when they came over for our wedding a couple of months ago.

“The football over here has drastically changed my outlook on how the game should be played. It’s extremely technical and very professional over here and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time so far, who knows what the future is going to hold.

“I had a really good time with Western Sydney Wanderers and played a lot of games there. The club were going through a transitional period, got rid of a lot of players, and then a new manager came in.

“My contract was coming to an end and in this league, you’re only allowed five foreign players. The manager had his own ideas of who he wanted to sign from abroad and after we spoke in length, I believed I was comfortable enough to trust what I’ve done and find something more established.

During his time in South Wales, Australia, the defender worked under former Rangers and Celtic striker Kenny Miller, who was leading a Scottish revolution Down Under with Carl Robinson. They signed the likes of Graham Dorran’s and Gordon as they bidded to bring back the glory days back to the former Asian Champions League winners.

He said: “I was really consistent in the way I played. In my first season with Kenny, I think I had the most tackles, blocks in the league and had some really good statistics. I played every minute of every game and really enjoyed it. Things change when the club you play for have big ambitions.

“I was at the biggest club in Australia who had won the Asian Champions League and when things aren’t going your way, they aren’t going your way. It’s a cut-throat business we are playing in and after Kenny {Miller} left it was the start of a new regime and there was a lot of fresh ideas.

Western Sydney Wanderers fanbase

“It’s a proper club, it’s like a Premier League club. The stadium, training ground, staff, media, and the fans were all first class and I’m fortunate enough to have spent two years with that squad.

“The football and lifestyle are very different but the people are quite similar as there are a lot of expats over here. The weather takes the football to a totally different dimension and it’s a lot slower and more tactical as it has to be.

“You’re dealing with 40-degree temperatures sometimes and that makes a massive impact on the body. I actually miss it sometimes when it doesn’t rain so that tells you everything. The lifestyle is always the same for me. I’m very professional and try to look after myself and spend time with my friends and family.

“I’m privileged to play in a sport that grants me opportunities to live all over the world. As long as I’m able to go and how ever long football allows me to play, I want to be able to experience and embrace as many different cultures as I can.

Credit: StAUnMatch (YouTube)

Gordon, 29, reckons he has a lot left to offer on the pitch and hasn’t been short of offers. He has also opened up on his aspirations to one day become a manager.

He added: “I’m privileged to play in a sport that grants me opportunities to live all over the world. As long as I’m able to go and how long football allows me to play, I want to be able to experience and embrace as many different cultures as I can. I think it’s daunting to stay in the same place.

“It’s difficult. You’re in a sport that’s played at 100 miles per hour, so you don’t get a chance to settle in, especially at a clubs I’ve been at. I’ve not had the fortune to have time to settle in, you’ve got to be good enough and got to learn very quickly. These are things I’m all going to use in my repertoire to become a good manager one day.

“I’ve got a lot of plans for the future. One of the great aspects of playing in all these leagues is that I have been able to broaden my horizons and learn different cultures, football, and personalities which I think will help me become the best manager I can.

“I feel as if I have at least 8 years left in me yet, maybe nine. I always pride myself in my fitness and the way I look after myself. I’ve not had any serious injuries yet so far in my career, so I can see my career going on for a lot longer. If I’m being honest, I don’t even think I’ve played my best football yet and there’s still better to come.

“I’ve always said that I will be open to any offer and think about the longevity of the offer and how it suits myself both football and non-football. Does it suit my family and those closest to me? Does it suit my future and my aspirations as I want to become a manager one day? These are all things I take into consideration. I’ve not been short of offers, especially recently, but it’s about weighing things up. You never know in football, you never know.”

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