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 and 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 the western Melbourne suburb of Truganina,[1] the club aims to represent western Victoria, incorporating the western suburbs of Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, as well as regional and country towns in western Victoria.[2]

The club was first established as part of an expansion process in the country's premier soccer competition, the A-League. It has begun competing in the 2019–20 A-League season, under licence from Football Federation Australia (FFA).

Western United play home matches at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong and Mars Stadium in Ballarat, though plan to permanently relocate matches to a proposed soccer-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, as part of the new expansion process.[3] Four months later, the bid's success was announced, along with the bid from Macarthur FC.[4] Western Melbourne will play its home games at Kardinia Park in Geelong for its first two seasons, while it builds its stadium and training centre in Tarneit, with completion expected in 2021.<

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 its first player and marquee signing Panagiotis Kone ahead of its 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 newspaper.[9][10] The club's colours and identity were set to confirm the club's name and colours as it was announced as their inaugural name as "Western United Football Club" also wearing a green and black strip on their kits.[11] In mid-May, Western United announced partnership with sports brand Kappa.[12] Two months later, the club unveiled their inaugural jerseys for their first season in the A-League, featuring green and black stripes.[13]

On the 2nd of June 2019 the Director of Football for Western United, Steve Horvat presented Geelong representative players with their kits for the 2019 Country Championships. Horvat additionally announced the club would set up a Geelong based academy by 2021.

Colours and identity[edit]

On 13 February 2019, the club revealed that its primary colours will be green and black.[14]

On 8 May 2019, the club announced its 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.[15]

On June 18, 2019, through consulting with Kappa and fans, the club officially unveiled its 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.[16]

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.[17]

Western United announced Probuild as its inaugural sponsor on 3 July 2019 where its logo will be present on the front of its playing kits as well as other apparel.[18]

Ownership[edit]

It was revealed in February 2019 that Birmingham Sports Holdings had initially funded the bid's license fee. They later pulled out of the project due to a downturn in the Australian housing market, that devalued the intended housing developments to be built in the same area as the proposed new stadium in Tarneit.[19][20]

Stadium[edit]

For at least the 2019–20 season, the club will play the majority of its home matches at oval-shaped grounds at GMHBA Stadium in South Geelong, and the remainder at Mars Stadium in North Ballarat.[21]

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

Wyndham City Stadium[edit]

The club has proposed to build a 15,000 seated stadium in Tarneit, Victoria. The stadium would be the first major venue in the country to be exclusively owned and operated by an A-League club.[22] On 6 December 2019, Western United announced that site investigations had been completed and that construction is expected to commence in mid-2020.[23]

Players[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of 8 November 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
11 Australia FW Connor Pain
12 Croatia MF Dario Jertec
13 Australia DF Ivan Vujica
14 Australia MF Max Burgess
No. Position Player
15 Australia DF Jonathan Aspropotamitis
17 Australia MF Joshua Cavallo
18 Kosovo FW Besart Berisha
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 (captain)
24 Australia MF Thiel Iradukunda (Scholarship)
25 Australia MF Luke Duzel (Scholarship)
26 New Zealand FW Kwabena Appiah-Kubi (injury replacement)
27 Australia MF Jerry Skotadis
30 Australia GK Ryan Scott (injury replacement)

Coaching staff[edit]

Football Department

Position Name
Head Coach Australia Mark Rudan[24]
Assistant Coach Australia John Anastasiadis[25]
Assistant Coach Malta John Hutchinson[26]
Goalkeeping Coach Australia Frank Juric[27]
Director of Football Australia Steve Horvat[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OFFICES - WUFC Head Office is at Corner of Leakes and Palmers Road, Truganina". Western United FC. Twitter. 29 May 2019.
  2. ^ "About us". Western United FC. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  3. ^ "FFA receives eight final bids for Hyundai A-League Expansion". A-League. 31 August 2018.
  4. ^ "FFA goes west with two clubs confirmed for A-League expansion". The World Game. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Highly-rated Anastasiadis lands A-League coaching role with Western Melbourne". The World Game. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  6. ^ "New A-League club signs assistant coach from USA". FTBL. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Heraldsun.com.au | Subscribe to the Herald Sun for exclusive stories". myaccount.news.com.au. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Risdon signs on with Western Melbourne". The World Game. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  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. ^ Bossi, Dominic (12 February 2019). "Western United: New Melbourne A-League side to confirm name, colours". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  12. ^ Earnshaw, Gemma (21 May 2019). "Western United announce partnership with Italian sports brand Kappa". A-League. Football Federation Australia.
  13. ^ Greco, John (18 June 2019). "Western United FC unveil inaugural Hyundai A-League jerseys". A-League. Football Federation Australia.
  14. ^ "Western United: new A-League club's name and colours confirmed". The Guardian. 13 February 2019.
  15. ^ https://areyouwithus.club/#home
  16. ^ "Western United FC unveil inaugural Hyundai A-League jerseys". Hyundai A-League. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  17. ^ https://www.a-league.com.au/news/western-united-announce-partnership-italian-sports-brand-kappa
  18. ^ "Probuild Comes On Board As Western United FC's Inaugural Major Sponsor". Ministry of Sport. 9 July 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  19. ^ https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/melbourne-cup-winning-owner-backs-new-a-league-club-western-united-20190213-p50xgc.html
  20. ^ https://almajir.net/2019/02/06/bsh-the-australian-connection/
  21. ^ "A-League matches confirmed for Ballarat for season 2019/20". Ballarat Courier. 8 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Western United unveils unique stadium renders". Austadiums. 18 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Western United's Wyndham City Stadium reaches major milestone". Western United. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  24. ^ "New A-League club Western United confirm Mark Rudan as inaugural coach". The Guardian. 23 May 2019.
  25. ^ Gatt, Ray (12 January 2019). "Western Melbourne appoint John Anastasiadis as assistant". The Australian.
  26. ^ Ormond, Aidan (22 January 2019). "New A-League club signs assistant coach from USA". FTBL.
  27. ^ https://www.a-league.com.au/news/goalkeeping-guru-juric-joins-rudan-western-united
  28. ^ 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]