Western Sydney Wanderers FC
|Full name||Western Sydney Wanderers FC Pty Ltd|
|Head Coach||Tony Popovic|
|Website||Club home page|
Western Sydney Wanderers FC is a professional football club based in Western Sydney, Australia. It competes in the country's premier association football competition, the A-League. Wanderers entered the competition in the 2012–13 season after its formation in April 2012, by Football Federation Australia (FFA), who began the club's life with a series of community forums across Western Sydney. These forums helped choose the club's name and colours, as well as its culture and playing style. The club's record-breaking inaugural season saw them reach the A-League Grand Final and become reigning A-League Premiers, which gained the club direct qualification into the 2014 AFC Champions League Group Stage.
The club is run from a facility based in Blacktown, and plays matches at Parramatta Stadium, a 21,500 seat multi-use venue in Parramatta. A youth squad competes in the National Youth League. A women's team competes in the W-League. The youth and women matches are played at various locations across Western Sydney, including Marconi Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium and Cook Park in St Marys, Penrith. A Powerchair Football team competes in the NSW Western Division Powerchair Football League, with matches played at Kevin Betts Stadium in Mt Druitt, Blacktown.
- 1 History
- 2 Colours and badge
- 3 Sponsorship
- 4 Club facilities
- 5 Support
- 6 Rivalries
- 7 Current squad
- 8 Club officials
- 9 Honours
- 10 Records
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Western Sydney was regarded as a potential location for one of the founding eight A-League clubs in 2005, originally intended to be the base for Sydney FC. When Sydney FC put forward their bid to participate in the inaugural A-League season, Football NSW (which backed the bid) desired for the club's home ground to be Parramatta Stadium in western Sydney. Though after winning the A-League licence, FFA chairman Frank Lowy forced a number of changes to the bid. The main of these were in moving the club to Sydney Football Stadium in eastern Sydney and simultaneously reducing Football NSW's involvement from 100% to 25%. Frank Lowy’s son, David Lowy, was also installed as a major investor. In response, Football NSW made the dramatic decision to pull out its involvement with Sydney FC amid claims the A-League club had become a 'plaything' for Frank Lowy and his family. Football NSW stated its dislike of Lowy's autocratic style in establishing the club and the perceived lack of consultation on key Sydney FC issues. An unsuccessful bid named Sydney Blues, which had proposed to play at the Sydney Football Stadium, was the only rival bid to Sydney FC. Sydney FC entered the league with a five-year city exclusivity deal as part of the 'one-city, one-team' philosophy, preventing the establishment of another Sydney-based club.
In mid-2008, as the five-year deal wound to its conclusion FFA announced the bid process for a second potential Sydney-based A-League club. Despite the unsuccessful attempt of the newly established western Sydney-based Sydney Rovers FC to join the A-League (due to financial and technical reasons), FFA were still strongly committed in pursuing a second Sydney club.
The catalyst for the formation of the Western Sydney Wanderers was FFA revoking Gold Coast United's A-League license on 29 February 2012. After a series of running battles between FFA and Clive Palmer, owned of Gold Coast United, over topics such as crowd control, stadium attendance capacities and breaches of A-League regulations. The loss of Gold Coast United brought the league down to nine clubs, one fewer than what FFA needed for their upcoming television rights negotiations.
On 4 April 2012 then FFA CEO Ben Buckley announced the creation of "New Sydney Club" based in the city's west to play in the A-League. The new club would be set up to compete in the 2012–13 season, though despite several attempts by the FFA to find a backer to own and run the club no individual owner or consortium of owners decided to take on the new Sydney club. With the October deadline approaching, FFA decided to push through the club by taking on the ownership role themselves. This was helped by securing $4 million from the Australian Federal Gillard Government in a grant for the creation and ongoing costs of the club.
As notable Australian football players Scott Chipperfield, Tim Cahill and Lucas Neill expressed their support for the Western Sydney-based football club, so did the local football community, with FFA holding supporter forums in Mount Pritchard, Parramatta, Rooty Hill, Penrith, Castle Hill, Campbelltown and Bankstown, where community members discussed such topics as the club's values and culture, playing style, home ground, and proposed names and colours. Following the community forums, FFA launched an online survey to decide on various options for the new club. It covered similar aspects of culture, location, team colour and playing style. A final survey was later launched with a specific focus on the club's colours and name. Options for team colours were Black and Red, Black and White, and Red, White and Black. Options for the team name were Athletic, Wanderers, Wolves, Strikers and Rangers.
On 17 May 2012, former A-League head Lyall Gorman was appointed Executive Chairman of the as yet unnamed club. Tony Popovic was also announced as the inaugural head coach of the Western Sydney team. Popovic joined the club after requesting to be released from the final year of his contracted role as assistant coach of Crystal Palace F.C., after ending talks with both A-League Sydney clubs and stating his desire to build a club from scratch as an opportunity he could not pass up. Popovic signed with the Western Sydney team to take the helm for four seasons. Ante Milicic joined the club as assistant coach on 22 May 2012.
The official club name, logo and colours were formally announced on 25 June 2012. The name Western Sydney Wanderers was officially released, as was the club logo, the home playing strip, the home ground (Parramatta Stadium) and three of the inaugural players: Aaron Mooy, Tarek Elrich and Kwabena Appiah-Kubi. The name 'Wanderers' had been an overwhelming favourite among fans and community groups, with it also paying homage to Wanderers, the first registered association football club in Australia, who played in the area in 1880.
Western Sydney Wanderers began their inaugural season of competition in the first round of the 2012–13 A-League, the team's only competition of the season. On 6 October 2012, Western Sydney Wanderers played their first competitive match of any kind against Central Coast Mariners. The match ended in a 0–0 draw. During their first season, Western Sydney Wanderers quickly emerged as one of the leading clubs in Australia. A historical record-breaking inaugural season saw the club win their first A-League Premiership after topping the A-League table through a record-undefeated streak, which included 10 straight wins. This feat gained the club direct qualification into the 2014 AFC Champions League, the first international competition of any kind for the club. A top-six placing in the A-League table also allowed the club a place in the A-League Finals Series for the season. After a 2–0 win against Brisbane Roar in the semi-finals of the Finals Series, the club appeared in their first A-League Grand Final, which they eventually lost 0–2 against Central Coast Mariners in a sold out Sydney Football Stadium on 21 April 2013. The club's season success was pitted on first-time coach Tony Popovic who built the team from its foundations in only six months time. The club's success, both on and off the field, sparked much interest worldwide, though most notably within Australia, where association football had previously struggled to gain mainstream interest.
Colours and badge
The inaugural season kit for the club was announced on 25 June 2012, at a press conference held at Parramatta Stadium. The team kit featured a red and black hoop jersey, white shorts and black socks. The red and black colour scheme was popular during the supporter forums, and the 'hoop design' emerged along with vertical stripes as the two most popular style choices. The club badge includes the name of the club in Futura typeface, with white writing and a stylised W, S and W pattern to represent the club's initials.
American manufacturer Nike signed a five-year partnership deal to start on the new club's first season. NRMA Insurance signed a three-year partnership and Westfield a two-year partnership deal to start in the new club's first season Mitsubishi Electric signed a multi-year partnership deal for the 2013–14 season and onwards.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Major partner||Minor partner||Youth team partner|
|2012–2013||Nike||NRMA Insurance||Westfield||Hatlar Group|
|2013–||Westfield, Mitsubishi Electric|
The club's office and training facilities are located in the one location, Blacktown International Sportspark. This was done to foster a sense of belonging for all members of the staff no matter what position they hold at the club. It was initially believed that the club's administration and training facilities would be based at the Football New South Wales headquarters at Valentine Park in Parklea but the facilities at the ground were not to the standard required. Parramatta Council as part of its bid to host the team in the city offered Council owned office space inside the Parramatta CBD but this was declined in favour of staying at Blacktown.
On 26 July 2012 it was officially announced that Parramatta Stadium would be the home ground of the club for all its home games. Lyall Gorman, the club's CEO, acknowledged that the feedback he had received from the fan forums was that the fans wanted a single home ground and that the club must be based in greater western Sydney. Parramatta Stadium was seen as ideal compared to other alternatives at Homebush Bay, Penrith or Campbelltown as its rectangular size is perfectly suited for games, and it has an appropriate capacity of over 20,000.
With Western Sydney Wanderers and the Parramatta Eels rugby league club contracted to play at Parramatta Stadium, there is a greater potential for an upgrade and expansion of the stadium to be undertaken. Parramatta Stadium is considering potential expansion from the current capacity of 21,500 up to a capacity of 31,300 seats, by redeveloping the northern and southern ends of the complex. An upgraded stadium of this size could be an ideal long-term location for Western Sydney Wanderers due to its closeness to the Parramatta CBD, public transport, and being more central to the Western Sydney region compared to other Western Sydney locations.
At the supporter forums held in Mount Pritchard, Parramatta, Rooty Hill, Penrith, Castle Hill, Campbelltown and Bankstown, panel members and supporters in the audience raised the prospect of the club one day owning its own stadium.
Others have raised the idea of redeveloping the Fairfield Showground for a football-specific stadium for future use by Western Sydney Wanderers. That area has developed dozens of National Team players, supported many NSL clubs as well as clubs still existing in the New South Wales state league. It would also be a location that has no opposing rugby league or AFL teams in the suburb itself, making it a truly football specific stadium.
|Season||Members||Average attn.||Total attn.|
The main supporters group was officially coined the Red and Black Bloc (RBB). Founding members of the group attended the first ever game of the Western Sydney Wanderers on 25 July 2012, where the club played Nepean FC at Cook Park, St Mary's. The group gathered at the northern end of the ground and were vocal in the support of the new team. The Daily Telegraph noted the impressive debut of the group, whilst The Sydney Morning Herald described the group as "a noisy bunch on the northern hill". The RBB have received much praise and attention for the atmosphere and passion they produce, most notably their chant "Who do we sing for?". The RBB perform The Poznań in the 80th minute of matches, in recognition of the history associated with football in Parramatta as the first ever game of association football in Australia was played there in the year 1880.
On 19 April 2013 Australian rock-pop band Exit Row (Andrew Torrisi, Nick Ferreri, Raf Lavorato, Jeremy Azzopardi and Aaron Tarasiewicz) released their debut single "Welcome To Our Wanderland", a Western Sydney Wanderers-anthem. The song lyric was of the club, the RBB, and Western Sydney, with the RBB chant "Who do we sing for" used in the chorus. The song reached 93 on iTunes Australia.
Western Sydney Wanderers local rivals are Sydney FC. The rivalry is a part of the historic "East" versus "West" mentality that takes place throughout sport and life in the city. The two clubs first met on 20 October 2012, with Wanderers losing to Sydney 1–0. On 15 December 2012 in the following derby, Wanderers defeated Sydney 2–0 away from home, and the two teams went on to draw 1–1 at Wanderers' home ground during the third encounter on 23 March 2012.
On 26 October 2013, the first derby of the 2013/2014 season created a historic A-League crowd of over 40,000 spectators to witness a regular game in Sydney. Western Sydney Wanderers made their way across the other side of town outplayed, outclassed and defeated Sydney FC 2–0.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|General manager||John Tsatsimas|
|Head Coach||Tony Popovic|
|Assistant Coach||Ante Milicic|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Ron Corry|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach||Adam Waterson|
|Youth Head Coach||Trevor Morgan|
|Tony Popovic||2012–present||A-League Premiers: 2012–13|
- Premiers (1): 2012–13
- A-League Finals
- Runners-up (1): 2013
- Most appearances: 29 – Ante Čović, 2012– and Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 2012–
- Most goals scored: 11 – Mark Bridge, 2012–
- Most goals scored in one game: 3 – Mark Bridge, 21 December 2012
- Longest undefeated streak: 13 games – 13 January 2013 – 12 April 2013
- Longest winning streak: 10 games – 13 January 2013 – 16 March 2013
- Longest losing streak: 2 games – 12 October 2012 – 20 October 2012 and 24 November 2012 – 2 December 2012
- Highest win: 6–1 – vs Adelaide United, 21 December 2012
- Heaviest defeat: 0–2 – vs Melbourne Victory, 24 November 2012 and vs Central Coast Mariners, 6 January 2013 and vs Central Coast Mariners, 21 April 2013
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