SHERMAN, Texas - While his Austin College men's soccer career came to an end a little over a year ago, former 'Roo midfielder Garrett Matacale's career at the next level is just beginning. Matacale recently signed to play with Monaro Panthers Football Club, taking him to the other side of the world in Australia.
Matacale, a four-year starter from Lucas, scored six goals with nine assists in his career at Austin College, including seven helpers during his senior season in 2017. That year, he helped guide the 'Roos to a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinal appearance and a final overall record of 8-7-5. Now, in a move befitting a Kangaroo, he'll head Down Under to compete in National Premiere Leagues Capital Football - the highest level in the Australian Capital Territory. The club is based out of Queanbeyan, New South Wales, about nine miles from Australia's capital city of Canberra.
For Matacale, the journey to Australia began when he competed in a trial for representation with Soccer Smart, which ultimately chose to represent him as a consultant and agent. This past October, he got an offer from Monaro Panthers FC based in large part on video from multiple matches played over the course of his Austin College career. This past Sunday, he departed DFW Airport for Canberra, and is hitting the ground running. The club has already begun preseason training and will continue up until April 6, when they open up league action.
While he settles into life in Australia, he'll be staying with Adam Firych, the club's technical director and the man who helped guide him through the process and convinced him to sign in October. To the best of Matacale's knowledge, he'll be the only overseas player competing with the club. He and his teammates will be competing in various day tournaments as the season gets closer, where he'll get a chance to settle into a role he believes will be much like the one had had under Austin College head coach Mark Hudson.