Western United FC

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Western United
Western United FC.svg
Full nameWestern United Football Club
FoundedMay 2017
GroundGMHBA Stadium (2019–2021)
Mars Stadium (2019–2021)
Capacity36,000
11,000
OwnerMaurice Bisetto, Steve Horvat, Jason Sourasis, Levent Shevki, John Tripodi and Lou Sticca
ChairmanTBD
ManagerMark Rudan
LeagueA-League
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Western United Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in western Melbourne.[1] The club was first established as part of an expansion process in the country's premier football competition, the A-League. It will begin competing from the 2019–20 season, under licence from Football Federation Australia (FFA).

Western United will play home matches in Geelong and Ballarat, before permanently relocating to its proposed football-specific stadium in Tarneit, Wyndham.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

In August 2018, the Western Melbourne Group was part of the eight teams that the FFA had accepted in the official bidding phase.[2] Four months later, the bid as well as Macarthur FC was accepted into the A-League as part of the new expansion process.[3] Western Melbourne will play their home games at Kardinia Park in Geelong for their first two seasons, while it builds its stadium and training centre in Tarneit, with completion expected in 2021.[4]

On 11 January 2019, Western Melbourne Group announced John Anastasiadis as senior assistant coach for the club's debut season.[5] On 24 January 2019, the consortium announced that John Hutchinson would also join the club as an assistant coach.[6]

On 31 January 2019, Western Melbourne made their first player and marquee signing Panagiotis Kone ahead of their inaugural season.[7] On 12 February 2019, Socceroos defender Josh Risdon became Western Melbourne's first Australian signing.[8]

On 13 February 2019, it was announced that the club would be called Western United Football Club after a public vote was held through the Herald Sun.[9][10]

Colours and identity[edit]

On 13 February 2019, the club revealed that its primary colours will be green and black.[11]

On 8 May 2019, the club announced their official crest. The club's website at the time of the announcement commented that the design was influenced by the pitch of roofs in the suburbs and the West Gate Bridge, with the signature green colour representing growth, harmony and freshness.[12]

On June 18, 2019, through consulting with Kappa and fans, the club officially unveiled their inaugural home and alternative kits for the 2019–20 A-League season. The home kit consists of green and black vertical stripes where the Western United logo is encased in a faint crest. The alternative kit takes a different approach with a geometric design with varying sized green and black triangles connecting each other through their points. The club's logo is also contained at the bottom of the kit. This design is said to reflect on the club's modern approach in the club's branding.[13]

Sponsors[edit]

On 20 May 2019, Western United announced a partnership with Italian sports brand Kappa, which will be the club’s inaugural official apparel partner.[14]

Western United announced Probuild as their inaugural sponsor on 3 July 2019 where their logo will be present on the front of their playing kits as well as other apparel.[15]

Ownership[edit]

It was revealed in February 2019 that Birmingham Sports Holdings had initially funded the bid's license fee before pulling out of the project due to a down turn in the Australian housing market that devalued the intended housing developments to be built in the same area as their new stadium.[16][17]

Stadium[edit]

For at least the 2019/20 season, the club will play the majority of its home matches at GMHBA Stadium in South Geelong, and the rest at Mars Stadium in North Ballarat.[18] Both stadiums are oval-shaped and more suited for cricket and Australian rules football.

Location Stadium Capacity Year
Geelong GMHBA Stadium 36,000 2019–
Ballarat Mars Stadium 11,000 2019–

Additionally, a 15,000 seated stadium has been proposed to be built in Tarneit, Victoria. The proposed stadium would be the first major venue in the country to be exclusively owned and operated by an A-League club. Construction of the facility has yet to commence, though completion by the start of the 2022/23 season is considered likely.[19]

Players[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of 25 July 2019

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Poland GK Filip Kurto
2 Australia DF Aaron Calver
3 Australia DF Brendan Hamill
4 New Zealand DF Andrew Durante
5 Australia DF Dylan Pierias
6 Australia MF Connor Chapman
7 Australia FW Valentino Yuel
8 Greece MF Panagiotis Kone
9 Australia FW Apostolos Stamatelopoulos
10 Australia FW Scott McDonald
No. Position Player
11 Australia FW Connor Pain
13 Australia DF Ivan Vujica
14 Australia MF Max Burgess
15 Australia DF Jonathan Aspro
17 Australia MF Joshua Cavallo
19 Australia DF Josh Risdon
20 Australia GK James Delianov
21 Australia MF Sebastian Pasquali
22 Turkey DF Ersan Gülüm
23 Italy MF Alessandro Diamanti

Coaching staff[edit]

Football Department

Position Name
Head Coach Australia Mark Rudan[20]
Assistant Coach Australia John Anastasiadis[21]
Assistant Coach Malta John Hutchinson[22]
Goalkeeping Coach Australia Frank Juric[23]
Director of Football Australia Steve Horvat[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://twitter.com/wufcofficial/status/1133515796309610496
  2. ^ "FFA receives eight final bids for Hyundai A-League Expansion". A-League. 31 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Macarthur-South West Sydney and Western Melbourne Group will be announced today as the two new clubs to join the A-League, but only one will be joining next season". The World Game. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  4. ^ "FFA goes west with two clubs confirmed for A-League expansion". The World Game. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  5. ^ "Highly-rated Anastasiadis lands A-League coaching role with Western Melbourne". The World Game. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  6. ^ "New A-League club signs assistant coach from USA". FTBL. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  7. ^ "Heraldsun.com.au | Subscribe to the Herald Sun for exclusive stories". myaccount.news.com.au. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  8. ^ "Risdon signs on with Western Melbourne". The World Game. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  9. ^ "Name the new Western Melbourne A-League Team for your chance to WIN". Herald Sun. 31 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Western United FC: New Hyundai A-League club confirms name and colours". A-League. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Western United: new A-League club's name and colours confirmed". The Guardian. 13 February 2019.
  12. ^ https://areyouwithus.club/#home
  13. ^ "Western United FC unveil inaugural Hyundai A-League jerseys". Hyundai A-League. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  14. ^ https://www.a-league.com.au/news/western-united-announce-partnership-italian-sports-brand-kappa
  15. ^ "Probuild Comes On Board As Western United FC's Inaugural Major Sponsor". Ministry of Sport. 2019-07-09. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  16. ^ https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/melbourne-cup-winning-owner-backs-new-a-league-club-western-united-20190213-p50xgc.html
  17. ^ https://almajir.net/2019/02/06/bsh-the-australian-connection/
  18. ^ "A-League matches confirmed for Ballarat for season 2019/20". Ballarat Courier. 8 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Western United unveils unique stadium renders". Austadiums. 18 July 2019.
  20. ^ "New A-League club Western United confirm Mark Rudan as inaugural coach". The Guardian. 23 May 2019.
  21. ^ Gatt, Ray (12 January 2019). "Western Melbourne appoint John Anastasiadis as assistant". The Australian.
  22. ^ Ormond, Aidan (22 January 2019). "New A-League club signs assistant coach from USA". FTBL.
  23. ^ https://www.a-league.com.au/news/goalkeeping-guru-juric-joins-rudan-western-united
  24. ^ Rolfe, Peter (28 March 2019). "Push for sports clubs to own stadiums". Herald Sun. Western United football director and former Socceroo Steve Horvat said his club had delivered a blueprint for sports to skip government red tape and urged other codes to follow suit

External links[edit]