On the ball

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Tangney2_PPWherever he is in the world, Dr Stephen Tangney of Avenue Dental in Caloundra, Queensland, finds a soccer team to join.

“My big claim to fame from when I played soccer at University College Cork in Ireland is that I hold the record as the all-time top goal scorer. During that period [2003-’08], we went on two tours to the USA where we played a number of universities in New England. It was great fun. As a kid, every birthday I would be bought some new footballs, I’ve always had a passion to play!

“I was born in the village of Foynes on the south-west coast of Ireland and as soon as I could walk, I was kicking a ball around. I’ve been involved with soccer my whole life and have played at the highest amateur level. I love all things soccer related.

“I lived in London for a few years and set up a soccer club there. We had some American and English guys involved but it was mainly just my Irish friends. The team was based in South London and played in the Wimbledon and district league. The club still exists
to this day.

“I left that club in 2011 when I moved to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. On arrival, I joined a soccer club before I found accommodation. Actually, that seems to be the case wherever I live.

“I played for Coolum and eventually became captain of the team. I then moved down to Kingscliff in northern New South Wales and played for Burleigh Heads. I took some time off, went travelling overseas and ended up living and working in Cambodia. Of course, I played soccer in Phnom Penh. For me, soccer has been a great way to meet people, make friends and have fun no matter where I am.

“I moved back to Australia about 12 months ago and now live and play soccer in Caloundra. My team has had a very successful season.

“What I love about soccer is that—just like life—you get out of it what you put in. I also enjoy the team aspect and the fact that the team is bigger than any individual. One of my favourite sayings is, ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and that’s true in soccer and life. Soccer teaches that if you want to achieve something, you have to put in the effort. If you don’t then the score will reflect that, and there’s no hiding from the fact. However, if I lose a match but I’ve given my all, I can be happy with that.

“When I really think about it, I just love to get out on the field and play. That probably trumps everything else.”

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