Good Greater Western tale still wandering along

GOING WELL: Western Sydney Wanderers is the feel-good story of the A-League.
GOING WELL: Western Sydney Wanderers is the feel-good story of the A-League. Chung Sung-Jungetty IMAGES

WHILE Perth Glory is the bad-news story coming out of the A-League, the good-news one is still Western Sydney Wanderers.

Of course, I don't mean the club's domestic season, which sees the team second from bottom and fighting to avoid the wooden spoon.

No, it's the off-field success that the club and its officials have to be applauded for.

Tomorrow night the Wanderers host Kashima Antlers in the Asian Champions League.

This will be the club's 50th match at its home ground of Pirtek Stadium, and its 10th in the ACL - the competition it won last season.

A win against the Japanese side will keep the Wanderers' chances of defending their crown alive, with one game left against group leader Guangzhou Evergrande.

The club has also played 40 A-League games at Parramatta Stadium, and the majority of those have been successful.

It's hard to believe the club was formed just three years ago.

Not many would have said that in that time the Wanderers would have won a Premier's Plate, played in two losing A-League grand finals and won the Asian Champions League.

The milestone of 50 home games is worth celebrating, but so to is the fact the club now has 18,706 members.

Only Melbourne Victory has more members in the A-League, while cross-city rival Sydney FC has 7000 fewer, and both of those have been in existence for 10 years.

The powers that be at the Wanderers should be proud of that figure as it shows that even after a poor season in the domestic competition, the fans are still showing their support.

Chief executive John Tsatsimas says the answer to the unbelievable backing is in the roots, and that from the beginning the club has belonged to its people.

"Members have come aboard and supported the concept of a Western Sydney team that represents the region and themselves," Tsatsimas said.

"Certainly it's an integral part of what we do at the Wanderers because without the members' support there is no club, no foundation and no ongoing hope for football lovers in the Western Sydney region.

"Even in our toughest moments they are turning up and supporting the team and the club."

The fact the fans are still fronting up is testament to how well the club has been run over the past three years.

I am in no doubt that a capacity crowd will be in attendance to celebrate that 50-game milestone at Pirtek Stadium tomorrow.

Let's hope there will be success on the field for them to enjoy.


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