Reborn Oughtred with a point to prove
A catch up with Northern Tigers goalkeeper Stuart Page is the reason Travis Oughtred re-discovered his passion for football – aged 25.
Good judges know the form of the 32-year-old is a huge reason why Warren Grieve’s Manly United squad are playing in Sunday’s big dance against APIA Leichhardt.
Oughtred was a prodigy as a teenager, quickly securing a professional deal with then NSL club Northern Spirit.
Football politics saw him become disillusioned, and at 19 he quit the sport.
“I had enough,” Oughtred recalled this week.
“Lawrie McKinna arrived at Spirit (to coach) and for whatever reason he didn’t rate me.
“It happens, but at the time I felt I was in the form of my career.
“I decided to walk away.”
Six years later he met up with Page, who convinced his good mate to have another crack at the world game.
“So I went and played at Northern Tigers with Stuart, before moving on to APIA,” Oughtred said.
“In 2015 I came to Manly to play under Paul Dee and it was the best decision of my life – he knows how to get the best out of players and make them feel wanted.”
Another incentive this weekend will be showing the APIA faithful the decision to release him from Lambert Park was a foolish one.
“I had a few injuries at the time, and they basically said go to a ‘lesser’ club like Manly so I could get more game time,” Oughtred said.
“I’ve never forgotten it and I have to laugh at how everything has panned out – a grand final versus the club who didn’t want me.”
Fans at the game should do themselves a favour – watch Oughtred closely.
He is poetry in motion – be it his distribution, winning headers or calm demeanour.
Grieve and his teammates wouldn’t swap him for anyone – and you sense APIA may rue their hasty decision come the final whistle this Sunday night.