It’s been an exciting week for Western Sydney Wanderers' reserve goalkeeper Sophie Magus.
Not only was her close friend and former Sydney University NPLW team mate Courtney Newbon given a debut in the Wanderers starting line-up, Magus herself sat on the bench as a reserve after being elevated into the W-League squad for the match against Perth Glory last Sunday at BankWest Stadium.
The good news continued today with the announcement that Magus has signed with newly promoted APIA Leichhardt for the 2020 NPLW season.
Magus admits the week gone by has motivated her even more to work on her craft.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to be part of a senior squad like this team,” admitted Magus.
“Being exposed to the high-intensity training along with the quality of players in the squad has encouraged me to push myself and try to make the most out of the remainder of the season.”
It’s been a long journey for the 20-year-old, who had a stellar 2019 season for Uni, albeit in the Reserve Grade competition, with Newbon making the First Grade position her own.
Magus played only four First Grade games last year but kept three clean sheets. She had 12 in 19 Reserve Grade games in 2019 as Uni made the grand final in both grades.
This year Magus will have a chance to shine on her own in the Firsts with APIA, who cantered to the NSW NPLW2 league title last year and are looking to make a major impact in the top tier this year.
“I am really excited for the upcoming season with APIA, coming from NPLW2 might mean other clubs underestimate us, but the team is full of highly driven and passionate girls who are ready for the year ahead.
“We are excited for a successful year ahead with APIA.”
But first things first, Magus will be looking forward to embracing the fact she is in the Wanderer’s first-team squad over the next month, as first-choice goalkeeper Abby Smith recovers from a knee injury.
The former Westfield High student, who is studying primary teaching at ACU, praised the culture at Wanderland, admitting she is thrilled to be a part of it.
“The group of girls this year is amazing, such a welcoming and supportive environment to be in,” she said. “When you think of the values the Wanderers pride themselves on, I do believe this team embodies them pretty well.
“The passion that runs deeply through this team is one to admire. They play for each other as much as they play for the club.”
Magus admits to being in awe of American star Smith, who has had a strong season in between the sticks for the Red & Black.
“Training alongside Abby has really emphasised the importance of confidence and presence as a goalkeeper,” she said.
“Obviously these things are instilled in you as a goalkeeper, but the way she came over into the squad on very short notice and was able to present herself in such a way on the field, that the defensive line trusted her and created one of the best defensive teams in the league, was very inspiring to me.
“Previously the thought of coming into a new environment where I may be inexperienced would have been very intimidating to me, but Abby has helped me believe that with the right mentality you can be very successful.”
Magus also praised the highly divisive NPLW system for helping her in her development over the years.
“With the competitiveness of the NPLW, it has attracted many W-League players and has created a good pathway purely through exposure alone,” she said.
“With many NPLW teams boasting a First Grade team featuring W-League players, you can be exposed to a higher intensity game and a more professional environment.
“I do believe that this has highly attributed to my desire to pursue football at the highest level possible.”
PHOTO: NPLW product Sophie Magus is enjoying her time at Wanderland. Photo care of Adam Schwereb of “Redevil Photography”.