Oceania champions Team Wellington have suffered heartbreak on the global stage, heroically going within a whisker of a massive upset over hosts Al Ain in the opening match of the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi this morning.
It’s a time for dynasties all over the world, a time for consolidation that is most frequently highlighted amongst the best in European football. Amongst the top five leagues in Europe, Paris Saint-Germain are dominating Ligue 1, Juventus are on course for an eighth-successive Serie A title, Atlético Madrid only briefly halted Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance in LaLiga, while Los Blancos have amazingly managed win three successive Champions League honours on the bounce.
The phrase “building a dream” means more than most to Team Wellington skipper Justin Gulley.
Since he dropped out of the professional game with the A-League’s Wellington Phoenix in 2016, the left-back has been pursuing a builder’s apprenticeship by day and OFC Champions League success with TeeDubs by night.
After experiencing heartbreak in three consecutive OFC Champions League finals to the Navy Blues, Team Wellington exorcised their demons by defeating their New Zealand rivals in the semi-finals. The TeeDubs’s long wait for continental glory then came to an end after a high-scoring aggregate victory in the final against Fijian outfit Lautoka.