What The Papers Say: Stadiums, Popovic & Twilight Football


We collate and comment on the best articles that feature the Wanderers in a section called “What the papers say!”

It was another week filled with speculation, as rumours circulated over who the Wanderers might pick up as their Australian marquee. There was plenty of talk about our proposed stadium upgrades, as well as some coverage on the Twilight Football Program.
SBS spoke to Golgol Mebrahtu and Mark Bridge about the Twilight Football Program which is taking place in the City of Bankstown.
Striker Golgol Mebrahtu, who was born in Sudan, told SBS the program kept kids active.
“It keeps kids busy and not bored and keeps them in a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
Keeping kids off the street and engaged was initially trialled in Bankstown with “Midnight Basketball” four years ago. That success paved the way for Twilight Football.
It’s designed for 12- to 16-year-olds, with food provided each session as well as life lessons.
Wanderers player Mark Bridge joined Mebrahtu for this year’s launch with the club also contributing equipment and a coach. The NRMA has also tipped in $5,000 to support the Council’s six-week-long program.

On Tuesday, The World Game spoke to Andrew Redmayne about his performance in the club’s FFA Cup match against Brisbane Roar and his desire to push for the number one spot. 
“I’m thankful to have been given the chance in the FFA Cup match and now I’ve just got to keep working hard,” Redmayne told The World Game.
“That’s all that matters.
“If you get a chance you’ve got to take it, but I’m not reading anything into what has happened so far. It’s still two months until the season proper starts, so I’m just going to keep working hard and see what happens.
“I’m one of three goalkeepers we’ve got at the club (including the youth-team ‘keeper). That’s the way I see it. Regardless of who’s playing at any stage during the year, I think we’ve got a strong goalkeeping squad and every week’s a selection battle.
“I’m not taking anything for granted. Head down, bum up and get on with it. Keep working hard and the next target is the FFA Cup game and then into the season proper in two months.”


Wednesday saw the start of the stadium upgrade rumours with the Sydney Morning Herald discussing the possibility of the club having to move if the supposed stadium renovations were to happen.
With Pirtek Stadium poised to be demolished for a $300 million, 30,000-seat stadium, the Western Sydney Wanderers have begun exploring the possibility of moving games to Belmore Sportsground during construction.
The Wanderers recently made enquiries with NRL club Canterbury about playing their FFA Cup game against the Brisbane Roar on August 11 at the spiritual home of the Bulldogs, however, they instead opted to play the match at Penrith’s Pepper Stadium.
But with the state government on the verge of announcing their stadia strategy, which is believed to include plans to knock down and rebuild Pirtek Stadium, the Wanderers are once again looking at Belmore as a temporary base.
The Eels, who have a lucrative contract to play a minimum of two games a year at ANZ Stadium, are likely to relocate to Sydney Olympic if construction coincides with the NRL season. However, the Wanderers are weighing up their options.

The Daily Telegraph spoke to Tony Popovic about the new era at the club, our new signings and Assistant Coach Andres Carrasco. 
TS: You’ve signed three players and a coach from Spain; if that’s a coincidence, what is the common thread?
TP: It was a type of player we were looking to take the next step in our vision. We feel these players and the coaching staff fit that bill. We don’t want to be labelled as a team that has made all these changes, and is rebuilding. No, no. We’ve made these changes to challenge for the title again.
I don’t want a grace period of three years, or say we need time. We want to challenge, and these players were brought in to do that. We enjoyed success and what it tastes like, and we want to get back up there.
TS: What about Carrasco, your new assistant?
Andres was someone we came in contact with in the past 12 months, though initially not for a position. We got to know him, the relationship slowly built. We felt the connection was right.
I felt comfortable bringing him here — it’s a big step for him, coming here without his family, and it shows what he wants to achieve. He wants to be part of the Asian champions, that’s a big prize for him. He’s come to help us improve — we’ve shown him great respect, and he’s a fantastic man who’s fitted in really well.

To read more from the interview click here.
The Herald Sun continued reports on Socceroo James Troisi having to slash his million dollar hopes if he wants a return back to the A-League.
Still with a year to run on his highly lucrative contract at Italian giants Juventus, sources close to the player say Troisi has held talks with the Wanderers among several A-League clubs.
But the money on offer for a return to Australia is nowhere near the $1m quoted by his representatives, even though it’s understood Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic is prepared to make Troisi his Australian marquee.
Troisi was left out of the Socceroos’ squad for next month’s world Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan, with Ange Postecoglou offering some stark advice to the player about finding a club and returning to the physical condition demanded by the Socceroos coach.

See you next week for another edition of WTPS!