Livin’ the Dream is the third and final installment following the journey of Mason Bradshaw. His most recent role was with Braintree Town FC, in the Vanarama South, where he managed to keep them up. He’s now down under managing Sydney FC, living on the harbour with his wife Sophie, and young daughter, Vicki.
In this installment, Mason jets back down under after his Christmas break back home. We hear from new signing Dax McCarty and Andrew Smith reflects on the ‘drama’
BRADSHAW IS BACK
by Jake Smith
It seems like a lifetime ago. 2nd December was the date. Mason Bradshaw flew back to the UK for an extended Christmas break.
Sydney FC was left in the capable hands of Harry Brown, the new assistant manager.
Rumours circulated that Mr Bradshaw might not return to either Sydney FC or Australia all together. Bradshaw was spotted at Portman Road, which lead to speculation that the Englishman was set for a move to The Tractor Boys
A quick statement from the Sydney-based side denied this, and reassured fans Mason would return in January.
Yesterday this was confirmed as he jet setted back on Ozzie soil. His wife and daughter were also alongside him.
RESULTS WHILST BRADSHAW WAS AWAY
“I’M DELIGHTED TO BE HERE” – DAX MCCARTY
Dax McCarty moved to Sydney FC this month after spending his whole career so far in the MLS, and McCarty admits “it shocked a lot of people I know”
McCarty was a MLS veteran, and had made over 300 appearances for a number of sides in America, so it was a shock to friends and family when he announced he was leaving the country…
“I’d spent my entire career – and life – in the States. I’d moved all over the country from Washington to New York to Chicago – but always in the States. And I’m honest, I didn’t plan of leaving it.”
What changed his mind then?
“I spoke to the gaffer after a Chicago game, and he said he would sign me. I’d never thought about moving to Sydney. Nor did I think I would get the chance.”
“As soon as I knew Mason wanted me, I knew it was once in a lifetime chance, and I had to jump.”
McCarty’s worn a number of numbers including 6, 13, 10 and 11. He returns to the number 10, what can the fans expect from the new number 10?
“Don’t expect many goals!!! I’m not the perfect player but I will give my all for the team, I’ll quite happily put my body on the line for the team and the manager. I’m vice captain and I want to win”
Sydney v Melbourne City
Bradshaw’s first game was a biggie. A title contender. A must win.
Not a win but not a loss.
Ex-England international Paul Scholes commented “It’s not the worst result, but they should have won”
Sydney v Brisbane Roar
It was an away trip to Brisbane – and a stay at a lovely hotel. bet365 made Sydney 4-1 favourites for this meeting. They’re favourites – but will they live up to the tag?
Sydney FC manager, Mason Bradshaw, was confident, “we’re going there with the aim of winning, we need points. We’re got a f**king league title to win”
What did the experts think?
Ex Ipswich striker, Darren Bent said, “I’m not too confident for Sydney. Their squad depth is awful!”
Ex Norwich striker, Dion Dublin, agreed, adding, “I can only see a win for the Roar today…”
A first victory after the return of Bradshaw happened on the road against Brisbane as they take a 2-1 win and three points back to Sydney on that long flight. Goals from Adam LeFondre (1′) and Trent Buhagiar (79′) won the match for Sydney.
“THERE’S NO DRAMA” SAYS SMITH
By Jake Wilkinson
Following the departure of long time friend, colleague, and assistant manager, Andrew Smith. A lot of eyebrows were wagged, he’d hardly be on Ozzie soil for six months.
Instantly rumours of a falling out between Bradshaw and Smith began, and with no official statement denying otherwise, it seemed inevitable that the long term friends were no longer talking.
After a few months had passed, and Andrew has settled back down in the UK, he’s reached out to me to tell the true story.
“There was never a falling out or a rift. Mason came to me and said he was thinking of staying for another year. I’m in my seventies and I have grandchildren so I didn’t want to commit for next year.”
“Mason totally understood my decision, and suggested that I go home early, I agreed and that was that.”
“No falling out, we’re still friends. I had bloody Christmas dinner with him!”
Mega Project was a unique Football Manager experience. It featured Mason Bradshaw, a rookie manager who never played professionally, who attempted to climb the football ladder from the first job to becoming a world-class manager. Mega Project was something that was never been done before as we looked from all angles, from Mason himself, the clubs, his family and friends, colleagues, the world of football and more. Mason is now livin’ the dream down under as manager of Sydney FC.