Whatever team you may support in the A-League, many of you would have watched in dismay at the FFA’s continuing inability to get a second Sydney A-League team up and running.
Financial issues aside, it seems almost sacrilegious that seven seasons in, Australia’s breadbasket for football does not have representation.
Time and time again, we hear of the region as a breeding ground for football, as a home to traditional footballing communities, and new migrant communities from footballing nations. Of the footballing infrastructure that exists, and the football knowledge that lies therein.
Yet the area continues to be a footballing backwater as far as representation in Australia’s premier footballing competition goes.
All one needs to do is take a trip to the many shopping malls in Western Sydney to see that those wearing football jerseys comfortably outnumber those whose sporting tastes lie elsewhere. The appetite is there.
Western Sydney is geographically, and many would argue culturally, separate and different from the rest of Sydney. It is an area approaching two million people with its own identity.
Yet we have seen one attempt to establish a team fail after another. From the inception of the A-League, with the panning of the Sydney Blues which would have established a two-team rivalry in Sydney, to the Rovers fiasco, to the recent speculation surrounding a possible Nick Tana/Remo Nogarotto, which seems to have failed to come to fruition.
The top-down approach clearly is falling by the wayside. So it has to fall to football’s real strength. You, the people.
Whether it be a full frontal assault, or just a spark to get the process going, the fans of Western Sydney need to be the oxygen for such a movement.
Many of the great teams of our time started, with fans sitting around the table – with a love, and ambition for representation for their community.
On many an occasion, the FFA (either fairly or unfairly) has been criticised for not listening to the fans and for not engaging the grass roots. Well, this is an opportunity for the fans to have their voice, to engage, to help form a team that represents them, that involves them, and that they can be proud of.
Money an issue? Of course, no doubt.
However, Western Sydney is the economic workhorse of the Australian economy, accounting for a large slice of its output. The people can set in motion a cause that will hopefully grab the attention of those with influence.
How many times have you read on this site, or other footballing sites the opinions of the fans – on how things can be improved, on their take of things, and think to yourself “wow, there are some good ideas here.”
Australia’s football fans are among the world’s most educated, and that is a strength to draw upon.
No matter how silly you think your idea is, we need to bring it into an open forum. To start a movement. For us as football fans to be involved in something great.
Many of you here may not only have ideas but know someone, have connections. There are so many ways this can evolve. But it has to start somewhere.
Football in Australia has often faced negativity. We need to be positive. A ‘can do’, rather than a defeatist attitude needs to be used.