O’Neill And Woodcock On All Things Sydney


Moving from home is never easy, and when your home is five hours away by plane things get even tougher. For Sydney FC new boys Brandon O’Neill and Riley Woodcock this was the challenge they faced in order to better their football careers.

We sat down with the new duo to see how they’ve settled in at the Sky Blues following their arrival in May.


You’ve had a few months to settle in Sydney now, how are you finding everything?

BO – Finding my feet finally after a big move from Perth. Sydney is much bigger than Perth and that took some adjusting to and obviously finding a place, furnishing and getting Foxtel. We still haven’t got Wi-Fi yet but overall settled now and loving life in Sydney.

RW – It’s good, obviously the first month we were living out of a hotel which made things difficult but now we’ve settled into an apartment we’ve gotten used to everything, it’s like home now.

Travelling such a long distance, how daunting did the move to Sydney seem?

BO – To be fair it wasn’t that daunting. Coming from Perth we had to travel every second week, four or five hours sometimes, so moving to Sydney was actually a relief. It was an easy decision.

RW – Not too bad, I lived in Canberra for a year so I’m a bit used to living away from home although Sydney is a bit nicer than Canberra.

What were the feelings like moving from Perth for the first time on a permanent basis?

BO – It was a decision based purely on football, I’ve come away to better my career but at the same time it was a hard decision. Growing up in Perth, it will always be my home, it’s where my family and friends are.  It was a tough decision leaving but one that they told me I had to make to better myself.

RW – It was hard, you’ve got all your friends and family at home but at the end of the day if you want to be successful in football these are the sorts of sacrifices you’ve got to make. Thinking about football, it was actually pretty easy I guess.

 What sort of challenges did you face in your first few weeks in Sydney?

BO – Getting knocked back from place to place. We applied for a lot of apartments, but we finally got a place in Breakfast Point which was good. Other challenges included getting your car over here, E-tag over here, changing your license. There’s a lot that you have to do moving from state to state that I didn’t realise.

RW – The roads I guess, trying to judge times and traffic and just being familiar with an area. Once you’re settled it’s pretty easy.

Did it take long to adapt to the difference in time zone?

BO – The first week I was getting used to Sydney time but after the first week it becomes second nature.

RW – It makes it difficult speaking to your parents and stuff but it’s manageable.

Is it hard to stay in contact with your family? Will we see them at Allianz in round one?

BO – Yeah definitely. My dad is coming over for the first game which is good, he’s looking forward to that. I’ve got a few friends coming over and my girlfriend comes over every month. People from Perth will be definitely coming over and making Sydney their base I think.

RW – Keeping in touch is fairly easy. Mum and Dad have booked a couple of trips over throughout the season.

Taking everything into account, how do you compare the two cities?

BO – One word, professionalism as a club. As a city, it’s busy. A lot busier than Perth, here everyone is go go go.  

RW – Sydney is a lot bigger. At first it was a bit overwhelming, there’s so much to do but I think I like it. I’m pretty excited for the sun to come out and hit the beaches.

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