Thanks From Fairfield City – Mr Guy Zangari


On 4 April 2012, the Football Federation of Australia announced the formation of a new Hyundai A-League club in Western Sydney that would play in the 2012-13 Season.

On 4 April 2012, the Football Federation of Australia announced the formation of a new Hyundai A-League club in Western Sydney that would play in the 2012-13 Season.

On 21 April 2013, one year later, the new club, the Western Sydney Wanderers, made a Grand Final Appearance before 42,102 people at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

The Wanderers played against Central Coast Mariners and went down two goals to nil.

The Western Sydney Wanderers’ inaugural season has been a remarkable story – some say it has been a fairytale – that has capture the imagination of Western Sydney, the country and the world’s sporting community.

The club was established from the ground up with initial community consultation forums held at Mount Pritchard, Parramatta, Rooty Hill, Penrith, Castle Hill, Campbelltown and Bankstown.

At those meetings, questions were asked about the future of the club’s culture, style and values – essentially the club’s ethos.

Further points of discussion included what the club’s shirt would look like, its logo, its colours, and of course, its name,

Discussion also concerned where in the vast geographical area of Western Sydney its home ground would be.

The club certainly has galvanised the region by its presence.

Since its inception 12 months ago, the Wanderers have been part of more than 130 community engagements that include school visits, coaching clinics and multicultural festivals.

That is a truly amazing effort by all concerned.

As a club that has been established by the people and for the people, all the feeder associations play an integral part in supporting the game day half-time activities at Parramatta Stadium.

Many young players have also had the chance to be ball boys and girls throughout the season.

By all accounts, the children involved had the time of their lives.

Game day activities could not have been possible without the valued contribution of hardworking volunteers.

Their enthusiasm and support were appreciated by the club’s staff who also did an outstanding job of ensuring that each game was a memorable experience for all the fans on game day.

Game day would not be the same at Parramatta Stadium without the Red and Black Bloc, which is otherwise known as the RBB.

From that cold night on 25 July 2012 at Cook Park, St Marys – when the club first set out to play in a trial game against the Nepean Football Club – through to the Grand Final – the Red and Black Bloc has stood with the team every step of the way.

The Red and Black Bloc has set a new standard in the way that fans interact on game day.

Whether it was singing, chanting or doing the 80th minute Poznan – the Red and Black Bloc has set the bar very high for other clubs’ fans to follow.

In the front, back and somewhere in between of the newspapers, the increase in coverage of the Wanderers and the A-League as a whole certainly is a pleasure to see and read.

Support from the local Western Sydney newspapers has been outstanding.

The six-page wraparound sections in the Fairfield City Champion, the Liverpool City Champion and the South West Advertiser demonstrate how proud the community is of the Wanderers.

The football culture is nothing new – after all, soccer is the world game.

However, the Wanderers, and the community they have inspired, are nothing short of remarkable.

Kids are now choosing to wear their Wanderers shirts and not foreign ones at weekly soccer training sessions in local parks.

Houses are flying black and red banners, kids are proudly wearing Wanderers gear when they attend school Mufti Days, and young children are singing Wanderers chants everywhere.

There is a new culture identification – when fans see others wearing the club’s emblem that states ‘Who Do You Sing For?’ – they make they obvious reply, ‘Wanderers!’

The club’s successes are extraordinary for an inaugural club and include winning the Premier’s Plate, making it to the Grand Final and furthermore securing a spot in next year’s Asian Champions League, and the club achieving the longest winning streak.

I pay tribute to the coaching staff, particularly the direction of Fairfield local Mr Tony Popovic and Ante Milicic.

Their vision and belief in the club were demonstrated by the successful achievements in the club’s inaugural season.

I acknowledge the efforts of the club’s staff – in particular the club Chairman Mr Lyall Gorman and Executive Assistant Fiona Gibson for their tremendous work in making the Wanderers inaugural season memorable.

In conclusion, I thank all the players for the exciting brand of football they played during the season under the leadership of Michael Beauchamp.

I sing for the Wanderers!