Heffernan’s bold Wanderers pledge


Western Sydney Wanderers are no longer in the Westfield W-League to make up the numbers, according to new coach Dean Heffernan.

Heffernan, 38, played nine times for the Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League.

He will be assisted by inaugural Wanderers men’s captain Michael Beauchamp, as well as former Westfield Matildas striker Catherine Cannuli, who played 22 times for the Red and Black.

Together, the trio are desperate to bring Westfield W-League success to Western Sydney, who have not made the finals in any campaign since their inaugural 2012/13 season.

“For us, it’s forgotten, it’s a clean slate,” Heffernan told www.w-league.com.au.

“If anything it will be used as motivation the fact [the Wanderers] have never been in a finals series.

“With everything the club have behind us now, with the facilities to help the girls feels as professional as any other footballer in the world… that’s what we have now and that’s what’s driving us forward.

“The foundations are there, they’ve been set over the last few years and the girls are going to experience that. For the girls coming in to play for the club, there’s a lot to look forward to.”

Although Heffernan and Beauchamp are both relative newcomers to coaching in the women’s game, they have plenty of experience from their extensive playing careers.

Dean Heffernan and Michael Beauchamp in action for the Wanderers against Perth Glory

As well as playing for the Wanderers together, the pair are also Caltex Socceroos, with Beauchamp a member of both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup squads.

Heffernan hopes to pass on that experience to his players to help them become a Westfield W-League force.

“The thing about the girls that I admire most is the fact that the majority of them have to work 9-5, so I love that level of commitment and the accountability they have for themselves, what they have to do day-to-day to play football, I really admire that,” Heffernan said.

“It reminds me of the days in the old NSL when both myself and ‘Megsy’ [Beauchamp] had jobs, would then shoot off to training and do it all again the next day.

“Those sorts of experiences we can relate to and hopefully we can bring in other experiences from where we played.

“We want to help them get better and develop. We’ll use our experience… everything we can to help the girls get better every day.

“We’re not here to make up the numbers, we want to have an impact on the league next season and do something that in the past the Wanderers haven’t been able to do in the W-League space. We know it’s a massive challenge but the three of us are certainly up for it.”