The Player, the person – Angus Thurgate


Picture this.

You finish school, hop in the car with your parents for two and a half hours, train for 90 minutes, then get back in the car for another two and a half hours.

That’s a five-hour round trip.

Now repeat the cycle three days a week.

That’s 15 hours per week, spent in the car in order to train.


Somewhere in between, you fit in homework, your chores and a game on the weekend.

But it was a small price to pay for Thurgate to chase his dream of becoming a professional footballer.

Thurgate started playing football at the age of five with Port Saints FC.

He climbed the ranks quickly at his local club and would soon link up with the Emerging Jets.

It wasn’t an easy road for Thurgate, with the young prospect having to travel down to Newcastle several times a week to put the hours in on the training ground.


With the hours in the car adding up and Thurgate not old enough to even get his learners permit, he would take a leap of faith and leave home to make the most of his opportunity.

“I eventually moved down when I was 15 and lived with another guy from Port,” Angus Thurgate said.

“It was a very big step for me.”

The transition came with its challenges and Thurgate experienced the difficulty of moving away from home at a young age.

Having started at a new school, a young Thurgate had to find his feet on his own.

“It was tough,” Thurgate said.

“There was always going to be some rough times.”

Thurgate’s focus was always steadily on his football but the change would prove a big test.


However, he would soon find comfort in his new surroundings.

“Once I made some new mates at school and started to fit in it was nice,” Thurgate said.

“I went to Saint Francis Xavier and it felt good to be around friends.”

After a testing period, Thurgate’s persistence and tenacity would finally pay off.

Thurgate would score a scholarship deal with the Newcastle Jets first-team but the hard work didn’t stop there.

“I was very happy to sign here,” he said.

“It was very rewarding and a very proud moment for me.”



The young midfielder would continue his impressive run and put pen to paper on a professional deal.

He knew he couldn’t take his chance for granted and that he had to keep reaching for the highest level.

“The first contract is not necessarily the hardest one to get. It’s the second one,” Thurgate said.

“I knew there was still plenty of hard work to be done.”

The time would come for Thurgate to make his debut in the A-League which would become the end of a chapter in his journey but only lead to the next stage.

“I got to make my debut in the 2017/18 season, and it was a big moment,” Thurgate said.

Thurgate has been a consistent name on Craig Deans’ team sheet and despite the disappointing results this campaign, the midfielder has been a bright spark for the future of the club.

“It is what it is,” Thurgate said.

“We can only move forward now, so it is up to us to put in the hard yards and put this team in a fighting position next year.”

The appointment of assistant coach Karl Dodd has been welcomed by Thurgate and he believes the Jets coaching staff will be instrumental in turning around the Club’s fortunes.

“Doddsy has been class since he has come in,” Thurgate said.

“Hopefully we can put what they want into place and start picking up some results.”

From a young lad from Port Macquarie who could run rings around the other kids to becoming one of the Club’s most improved players, Thurgate’s determination could take him anywhere.

The journey is only just beginning for the Port Macquarie Pelé but the five-hour round trips are a thing of the past.