Western Sydney’s tall tale; the journey from inception

-

The Western Sydney Wanderers have only been around for a short time but have already caught hearts and souls of the Western Sydney community with their red-and-black-coloured net. They’re blooming with success on and off the pitch and it can only get better from here.


The club led by community focused CEO Lyall Gorman has ignited football back in the Western Sydney region which has often been known as the ‘Heartland’ for football in this country.

The success the Wanderers have brought to the league makes you wonder why they weren’t in it from the start although it seems it was now worth the wait with the media often stating that the sleeping giant has now awoken.

The decision to let the fans have a say and vote to decide the clubs name, colours, and stadium location to name a few came with great success with fans already feeling proud of what the club represented before round one even came around.

The first fan forum held in the Western Sydney region laid out the popular opinion of red and black, Parramatta Stadium and to be community focused. After the seven fan forums held around the Western Sydney region Lyall Gorman had a clear idea of what the fans wanted and confirmed as much with the final vote to decide name, colours and other aspects of the club. From there onwards it’s been a success from every angle.

On the 25th June the Western Sydney Wanderers was born at Parramatta Stadium – now been rightly renamed by the club as ‘Wanderland’ – and attendances have averaged well over 12,000 in the first season.

The big test will be when the Wanderers have a poor season. Although that is currently looking doubful under the guidance of manager Tony Popovic, when it does eventually happen that will be when we can see how passionate the Western Sydney football community is and how passionate the Wanderers supporters are to back their 12,000 crowd average during a poor season. Afterall, across the city Sydney FC averaged over 19 thousand in their winning debut season and have struggled since.

After spending a couple of years in England learning the trade of being a coach with Crystal Palace Popovic returned with no head coaching experience. Despite this he has already shown potential to be the next Socceroos coach with his mastermind tactics and risky yet successful squad selections, including the backing of Dino Kresinger up front.

Dino has only scored two goals all season yet Popovic has started him almost every week throughout the season including starting 12 of the 13 games in the Wanderers current undefeated streak. Dino has come to be one of the favourites at Wanderland with the fans embracing his passion for the game and his willingness to give 100% for the team. Every single player has made an impact this season either on or off the field with Jerrad Tyson being one of the most vocal. Although Wyston the Wanderer might argue that.

Tony Popovic has also brought Mark Bridge back to life after a few average seasons with crosstown rivals Sydney FC. The Sky Blues released Bridge so he could sign for the Wanderers and he slotted right into their system from round one. He is on a personal season high goal tally of 11 goals and the Wanderers have never lost a game where Bridge has scored.

After winning the Premiers Plate in Newcastle and then a win last Friday night against Brisbane in the semi-finals they are now ready to play in their first Grand Final in just a short 12 months since they were announced to be joining the A-League.

From a person experience it’s been something I’ll never forget. I can look back and have countless memories that I just can’t stop talking about. From the first Sydney Derby to the RBBQ in Newcastle and winning the Premier’s Plate and now a Grand Final. It’s a surreal feeling and I’m absolutely loving being able to passionately support a football club in Australia and especially in my Western Sydney home.

When I went up to Newcastle it was when I really felt a part of the Wanderers family. The RBBQ was so well organised and was a great event for all Wanderers supporters. Meeting new faces and even catching up with some old ones it was a great pre-match event. The Wanderers isn’t just a club, it’s a family. Once you head along to an event like this you see past the negative press and see for yourself who we are. Not hooligans, just a family of supporters who loves the Western Sydney Wanderers.

This fairytale has been something that you won’t see for a very long time in Australian sport. It’s been an amazing feat and something that will be talked about for many more years to come. Some are even calling them the Red & Black Caviar – but that’s just horsing around.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Latest Articles

Corica unhappy with Sydney giving away points

Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica says he is frustrated with his team’s inability to see out games after his team conceded two late...

Bulls need to focus on themselves says Milicic

Macarthur FC boss Ante Milicic says his team needs to focus on themselves for the remainder of the season. The month of April was the...
Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required