McGowan and Cooper named club captains

McGowan, Cooper

Western Sydney Wanderers FC are proud to announce that A-League defender Dylan McGowan and Westfield W-League defender Caitlin Cooper have been named the club’s captains for the 2020/21 season.

McGowan started his football career in Scotland with Hearts where he played for five seasons before securing loan stints at East Fife and Gold Coast United. 

The defender departed Hearts and joined Adelaide United in 2014 where helped the club win both the FFA Cup and A-League Championship during his three seasons at the club.

Following his stint at United, McGowan returned overseas and played for clubs such as F.C. Paços de Ferreira, Gangwon and Vendsyssel FF.

McGowan returned to the A-League in June last year for the Red & Black and went to feature in 23 matches in the domestic competition.

McGowan was the Wanderers vice captain last season and was named the club’s seventh captain by head coach Carl Robinson this morning.

Head coach Carl Robinson said McGowan has set the perfect example of a leader this pre-season.

“There’s a number of reasons, the first and foremost is that the way he conducts himself is correct. You have to be a leader, there’s two or three different types of leaders. There’s a quiet leader, there’s a leader who shouts and rants, and there’s a leader by example,” said Robinson.

“Dylan leads by example. He’s very articulate when he speaks and how he speaks, he speaks to people on a personal level and that’s the motto of the way I work as well.” 

Dylan McGowan said it was an honour to don the captain’s armband.

“I’m really proud to be the captain of the Wanderers and captain of the group that’s in the dressing room. We’ve got a lot of experienced players and a lot of really good players so it’s a real proud moment for me,” said McGowan.

“Hopefully we can start off with a win and start this season right.”

Wanderers defender Caitlin Cooper was also named the club’s captain today after originally joining the club in 2013. 

Despite picking up a freak injury during a Matildas match against China in 2015/16, Cooper came back stronger than ever and a fantastic 2016/17 season for the club which saw her named the Wanderers Player of the Year. 

Cooper made the switch to the club’s cross-city rivals two years ago and returned back to her home club the Wanderers last season.

The defender featured in 13 matches for the Red & Black last season and has been an important figure for the club both on and off the field. 

Cooper will be sharing the captaincy role with forward Erica Halloway when she returns from injury. 

Head coach Dean Heffernan said Cooper’s naming as captain comes as no surprise.

“It’s a very well deserved role for Coops (Caitlin Cooper) and she’s part of the furniture around here,” said Heffernan.

“Caitlin has always been someone that leads by example and someone that looks after the other players and always puts other people before themselves.

“For us, someone we’re expecting to be involved in every game, every day in training and we’ve seen that from day one last season. It’s no surprise to us or the playing group, and we’re looking forward to seeing what she can produce this year.” 

Caitlin Cooper said she was also honoured ahead of the club’s season opener match against Sydney FC. 

“It’s a massive honour, especially leading the team this weekend in the first game up with the Sydney Derby,” said Cooper.

“What better way to start the season, it’s been a bit of a down year this year so everyone’s looking forward to hitting the pitch on Sunday.”