Steve Wright recently celebrated a historic achievement for Football NSW League Two side Bankstown United, becoming the first player in the club’s history to play 100 games.
The veteran defender who started his journey at the club in 2016, admitted his love for the club’s culture and his pride in becoming the first player to reach the century of games.
It was in the round 12 fixture against Gladesville Ryde Magic, where Wright and the club celebrated the incredible achievement.
Wright was the first to admit the club wasn’t in his long-term plans when he first inked a short-term deal with United in 2016, with a planned move to England cutting his first season short.
After returning to Australia a year later, Wright had a brief spell in the Illawarra Premier League before reaching back out to the club and stating his desire to once again don the yellow and green.
“I emailed the president before I returned to the country, asking if they would have me back, I wasn’t really looking at going back to NPL 1 because I hadn’t played for a year and I didn’t think my fitness levels were up there.” he said
“To be honest, I haven’t considered another club other than Bankstown since I came back, the clubs been really good to me, they look after me with anything I need.
“Even this year I had offers in the league above, but this clubs been too good for me to leave.”
Wright credited the culture around the club, even during the midst of a tough year.
“We’ve got guys who have come from NPL 1 and have stayed here, although we’re not having a good year this year, they’re already talking about staying on for next year.
“It’s a club where once you go to it, if you’re doing well you don’t leave, because it’s a club that’s good to you and it’s a club with ambition.
“The name of it sums up the culture, Bankstown United, it is a united club, all the parents will come up to you and shake your hand and they all know who you are, they make an effort and come to games.
“Everyone is integral at the club, there’s no hierarchy, everyone’s on the same level and everyone is happy to be here.”
The veteran defender admitted he was honoured to become the first centurion and credited his relationship with coach Scott Belgre.
“Before he announced he had got the job, he approached me and said he wasn’t sure how receptive the boys were gonna be and asked if I could help with that and of course I did.
“You speak to anyone who’s come to the club and they’ll say he’s one of the best coaches they’ve had.
“It’s good to see how much he’s grown over the hundred games and he tried to make a big deal of it [the 100th game] since he’s been there from the start.
“But with the season we’re having at the moment, there was more important things than the 100th game, I was very honoured to become the first player to do it, because the club is very close to my heart.
“It’s an honour and a privilege, it’s something that only one person can say they’ve done it and I’m glad to say it’s me.”
By Football NSW Men’s League Two Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti