Back in March, I stood in this place to voice my support for the creation of Western Sydney’s own A-League team.
At the time I wasn’t aware that Football Federation of Australia was well advanced in its plans to deliver upon the dreams of many in our great region.
Nearly 10,000 people play the beautiful game in the Chifley electorate – and I’m the proud patron of the mighty Mount Druitt Town Rangers FC. Football’s in our blood.
Last Thursday I had the huge honour of attending the Official Launch of the A-League’s “newest, oldest” team: the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The side has been brought together in a mere 186 days – built up from its grassroots via the input of fans.
From the colours to the culture to the playing style – all these things have been taken into account and reflected in the make-up of the Wanderers.
Importantly, the birth of the Wanderers will provide a critical platform for the region’s next generation of young players.
On Saturday night, the hearts of over 10,000 fans filled with pride to see their team run onto Parramatta Stadium – now dubbed the Wanderland.
They took on the Central Coast Mariners – a tough initiation for a new team – but they acquitted themselves nobly, through a nil-all draw.
That the team was built so quickly and comprehensively is an absolute credit to Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman, Coaches Tony Popovic, Ante Milicic, all the players, staff, FFA Chairman Frank Lowy – and, in particular, to FFA CEO Ben Buckley.
I’m especially grateful that they’re headquartered at Blacktown International Sportspark.
The two ambitions this humble Foundation Member has for the club are:
- to see them win their first grand final; and,
- that both sides of politics commit to the construction of a new multi-purpose stadium in Western Sydney - one that can become the heartbeat of our own A-League team and can be host to a range of other sporting events in our region.