Regan thrilled to be local boy made good

THE first time Taylor Regan walked off Redhead’s Liles Oval he was angry with his father and first football coach Brian ‘‘Reggie’’ Regan.

Sons do not always like the lessons taught by their fathers.

But obviously Reggie knew what he was talking about, as yesterday his son returned to his junior ground to receive the inaugural Ray Baartz Medal as the Men of Football’s Jets player of the year.

When asked about his memories of playing in the under 11s for Dudley-Redhead United, Regan said: ‘‘Mostly just my father coaching me from a young age and coming in after every training session at night and mum would have to set out two different dinner tables because I refused to eat in the same room as my father because I hated my coach.

‘‘They were my first memories of playing. It was always about having fun, but we had a talented team made up of surfers and the like.’’

The central defender was initially announced as the Ray Baartz medallist in April, during the height of Jets owner Nathan Tinkler’s dispute with Football Federation Australia over the club’s A-League franchise.

Regan did not receive the medal at that time due to delays in getting it engraved.

Regan polled one more vote than striker Jeremy Brockie, who has since joined Wellington Phoenix, to claim the award in front of about 100 people at the Exchange Hotel in Hamilton.

Men of Football is a charity organisation formed by ex-players and fans to help people in the soccer community.

The group is modelled on the successful Men of League organisation and began in Newcastle two years ago.

‘‘When I was young I grew up watching a lot of these players who vote on the award and obviously being a local boy it means that little bit extra,’’ Regan said.

‘‘I went to a function the other week and I think there was close to 200 Men of Football gentlemen there from throughout the region, and it was good to see them all and they’re very passionate about the Jets.’’

AAP reports: Reece Caira has given up a spot in the reserves of a 138-year-old English Premier League club to join an A-League side founded barely four months ago.

But the 19-year-old is excited about his return to Australia and being among Western Sydney Wanderers’ first signings.

‘‘It’s great that I get to become a foundation player but it’s going to be a tough first season,’’ Caira said.

The defender has secured a one-year contract with the new A-League franchise, after spending the past 3 years in Aston Villa’s youth squad and reserves.

He caught the attention of Wanderers’ coach Tony Popovic during a recent trip to England and has been on trial since.

‘‘I’ve always been interested to work with Popovic and I’ve finally got the chance,’’ Caira said.

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