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Varsity Magazine – Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity Magazine

MADISON, Wis. How did you get to UW from New Zealand?

“My older brother studied and played soccer at the University of Washington and he had a lot of good things to say about the U.S. pathway. So after I finished high school I looked at the U.S. as a serious option. From there, I got film of me playing and contacted Wisconsin which I was fortunate enough to get a reply from the coaching staff and it kicked off from there.”

When was the first time you came to Madison?

“I visited Madison earlier this year in February on a visit, the city looked much different than what it does now (in the fall) as it was winter and was covered in snow.”

What is your hometown of Auckland, New Zealand known for?

“There are a lot of things that Auckland is known for. There is quite a diverse landscape in Auckland, you have the main city, mountains and bush to go hiking in, a lot of beaches, a nice harbor where the fishing is good and a lot of other stuff. People like adventure in New Zealand, so bungee jumping, skydiving and hiking are pretty popular.”

Do you know Kirk Penney (former Wisconsin basketball player from New Zealand)?

“Yeah I do, he’s a legend — most Kiwis know who Kirk Penney is and I’ve watched him play for our Men’s National Basketball Team a few times on TV. It’s nice to have that Kiwi connection here at UW.”

If someone came to visit you in New Zealand, what’s the one activity you would do?

“I would probably take them to a nice beach and then some proper ocean fishing, or take them on a walk to somewhere scenic because New Zealand has some really nice landscapes.”

What was it like joining the team already in progress because you were with the New Zealand U-20 team winning the Oceania Cup in Tahiti?

“It was good, I was really excited to join UW and meet the team. The guys on the team and coaching staff helped me out a lot when I first got here and made settling in much smoother than what I thought it would be.”

Better game, rugby or Aussie rules football?

“Definitely Rugby!”

What’s the biggest thing that has surprised you so far in the United States?

“I think the biggest thing that has surprised me is the resources and facilities the U.S. has to offer.”

How often do people comment on your accent?

“People comment on it quite a lot, it’s definitely the first thing they notice about me when I start talking.”

Your team roster has players from nine different countries on it, what does it take to build chemistry on a team so diverse?

“I think it happens over time by playing with your teammates every day and also getting to know them better both on and off the field. Even though the team is quite diverse, all the guys get on really well and respect each other’s background. We also understand the importance of working together as a team so I actually feel the team chemistry is a big strength of ours.”

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