What went wrong at Western United?

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With three wins in their opening five games, you would have been forgiven for thinking Western United would be a dark-horse for the A-League title.

Since their positive start, there have been cracks in the United squad which have been exposed far too often.

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Niggling injuries to stars Alessandro Diamanti and Panagiotis Kone have halted progress and this underlines their over-reliance on an ageing squad.

There is no trust in young players in big games.

When younger squad members like Aaron Calver, Johnathan Aspropotamitis and Sebastian Pasquali are given a chance it is when an injury forces Mark Rudan’s hand.

It would be understandable to go with experience if results were going well but in United’s case, this can not be the excuse.

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It may be harsh to criticise with the team sitting in sixth in their inaugural season.

After the positive start to the campaign, highlighted by an away derby win over Melbourne Victory, you can feel slightly disappointed they are not challenging for a home semi-final.

Another challenge facing the side is the building of a strong foundational fanbase.

The club has the lowest membership numbers in the competition with just under five thousand.

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In their first campaign, it was crucial to have a successful season in order to gain more numbers, with a blueprint similar to Western Sydney Wanderers (who have the second-highest membership numbers).

The lack of a permanent home facility for their first few seasons was always going to be an issue, with the team playing out of three home bases in their first 11 ‘home’ fixtures.

To think their highest crowd this season has only been slightly more than 10,000 and their average just a touch more than 5000 is not promising.

Despite offering moments of promise, you can only feel United could have produced more this season.

Feature image credit: supplied.

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Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.