Sydney Derby an eye-opener for Nick Sullivan


The moment Wanderers midfielder Nick Sullivan stepped out on to Bankwest Stadium for the pre-game warm-up for his first Sydney Derby, he knew it was going to be something special.

Back in the Red & Black after a stint overseas, the Wanderers Academy graduate had quickly worked his way into the side for the opening two games of the season against the Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory.

However, the big moment came in Round 3 when he started against Sydney in the 1-0 win in front of 28,519 passionate members and fans. 

While he lasted 49 minutes after being forced off with an injury that would sideline him for a month, it was something he will never forget.

“I had never played in a packed stadium before, especially at Bankwest,” said Sullivan.

“The atmosphere in that stadium was incredible. You really can see every face even if they are in row Z.

“The adrenalin was pumping before that game, going out for the warm-up. Walking out on to the pitch is when I got my first whiff of what the night will lead up to.”


Sullivan was so pumped he was involved in some push and shove, first with Ryan McGowan and then with Luke Brattan. 

However, he took it all in his stride and, along the way won plenty of plaudits from the Wanderers faithful who loved his competitive streak and aggression.

“That altercation got the best of me,” said Sullivan.

“I like to leave everything on the field but I try and keep my cool next game.”

Unfortunately, Sullivan and his teammates won’t get to taste the amazing atmosphere produced by the Wanderers fans as Saturday’s game will be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus lockdown.

But, it won’t sway him or the team from the task in hand as the Red & Black look to clean sweep the Sydney Derby and claim a third win this season against their crosstown rivals.

The Wanderers won the first two Derbies of the season 1-0, thanks to captain Mitchell Duke coming up with the winner in both games.

“To make it three from three would be something special. It would be disappointing for us to not get a win,” said Sullivan.

“Every game we go into we try and win, so to get the three points here would be something amazing.”