Rudan builds club culture at Western

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Western United becomes the fifth side in history to win in their debut A-League match after defeating Wellington Phoenix 1-0 and Mark Rudan’s philosophy seems to be the reason why.

The side’s mixed pre-season did not stop them from claiming the three points and for Rudan the win showed just who Western are and what the club’s about.

“The win is about togetherness. It’s about what we’ve been building. We’ve worked very hard in a short space of time, and we’ve also had to contend with players coming at different times in the preseason,” he said.

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“The win is also about building this football club, about having a clear identity and making sure that our culture and our values are clear to see. I think that was clear for all to see tonight.”

“I didn’t ask anyone to come off the bench; that was them, the players, asking.”

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Rudan said Western’s togetherness extended beyond those on the pitch and the win was “dedicated” to the people behind the scenes.

“To get a football club up and running in such a short space of time is not easy,” he said.

“This isn’t about the players or coaching staff, this is about everybody else who works extremely hard, but nobody sees.

“They get forgotten very quickly in football but this win tonight is dedicated to them.”

He said everyone had played their role in building the club’s culture but it had to be shown on the field and tonight it was.

“These guys are really privileged to be part of something that’s gonna be here for fifty years,” Rudan said.

“We keep talking about being lucky to be here, to be an inaugural Western United player.”

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Despite all of his talk about values, Rudan refused to disclose what the specific values of United were.

But what does seem clear is Rudan is also an embodiment of that culture, as evidenced by his response to the frosty reception the side received from Wellington.

“No dramas with the reception. It’s all good. I’m happy to be a distraction to take the pressure off my players. It’s my job to protect my players and football club.”

While taking criticism to protect players is one thing, Rudan could have been forgiven for being irked by projectiles being thrown at him by angry Wellington fans.

“I’m not bothered by things being thrown at me. No issue. No problem,” he said.

With a solid identity, confidence and three points in the bag, Western are primed to show the rest of the league what they are made of.

Featured image credit: Western United

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Dan Moskovitz
The Football Sack's resident teen kiwi football nut. Loves everything football except defeats.