Western Sydney Wanderers have got A-League’s best support

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    Shinji Ono helped the Wanderers to an inspiring 2-0 victory in the ACL. AAP Image/Paul Miller

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    Western Sydney Wanderers are the best supported club in the A-League. Not in terms of sheer numbers, but in the vociferous way their partisan fans get behind the team.

    Yesterday some 16,387 fans turned out at Parramatta Stadium (aka Wanderland) for the showdown between the Wanderers and league leaders Central Coast Mariners.

    On television the sight of thousands of jersey-clad supporters chanting non-stop in unison was an impressive one and the fanatical support is clearly helping to inspire the Wanderers on home turf.

    They were a tad unlucky to lose 2-0 to the Mariners on a sunny afternoon in Parramatta, though it must be said in-form Mariners striker Daniel McBreen took both his goals extremely well.

    But it was the packed stands which left an indelible mark on the match and if the Wanderers can maintain a semblance of form away in Wellington and Brisbane in their next two matches, they should go close to selling out Parramatta Stadium for the Australia Day clash against Melbourne Heart.

    It has taken a while for the Wanderers to generate the sort of crowd figures many assumed would be automatic in Sydney’s west, but the Wanderers have discovered the secret ingredient to keeping the turnstiles clicking over – winning.

    They’d have come closer yesterday had some crucial refereeing decisions not gone against them, though midfielder  Jason Trifiro deserved to be sent off and his dismissal made it doubly hard for the Wanderers to get back into the match.

    Mariners coach Graham Arnold will be relieved to have taken all three points, though one wonders why the club are so keen to let goalkeeper Mat Ryan head to Scotland for a purported 10-day ‘trial’ with Rangers.

    For one thing the A-League is virtually a better standard than the Scottish Premier League – let alone the Third Division – and Ryan will miss key games for Central Coast at a crucial time of the season.

    It seems like a harebrained idea from all concerned, though the Mariners have got a more than handy replacement goalkeeper in the form of Justin Pasfield.

    They’ll have a harder time replacing Tom Rogic should he jet off to English club Reading, and while Ryan’s potential move to Rangers seems short-sighted at best, Rogic is better placed when it comes to his next career move.

    He’ll hope Reading don’t suffer relegation from the top flight but even if they do, the Championship is still a significant step up from his current level.

    Should Ryan and Rogic both leave the club it could lead to a similar situation to last season when the Mariners fell in a heap and missed qualifying for the Grand Final after both Matt Simon and Rostyn Griffiths left midway through the campaign.

    That’s something Cental Coast will be desperate to avoid a repeat of, however it’s a fact of life for the A-League that European clubs are always going to look to sign reinforcements during the January transfer window.

    But for the time being it’s the Wanderers’ European-style atmosphere which deserves praise and fans in Western Sydney are leading the way in terms of active support.

    Melbourne Victory might have the largest crowds but as it stands the Wanderers have thrown down the gauntlet when it comes to being the loudest and most passionate fans in the A-League.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (155)

    • January 7th 2013 @ 7:30am
      striker said | January 7th 2013 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      gotta agree apart from a few idiots throwing bottles on the field.

      • January 7th 2013 @ 5:21pm
        EdoH said | January 7th 2013 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

        That is why I am Sydney FC till I die. I have sentiment for WS, and consider them as family, however, the club and supporters must stop the rogue element or it could be the end of great things in Sydney and A League. So far the A League has been excellent, encouraging family and friends to enjoy. Please RB Block control the rogue minority, and prove to be the best supporters in the league.

        • January 7th 2013 @ 6:55pm
          Paraskos said | January 7th 2013 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

          with all due respect, perhaps you should look in your own backyard before worrying about the rest of the ‘family’
          during the last derby the Cove threw flares as well…what about getting rid of the rogue element from your club first?
          not condoning the throwing of flares or bottles and this was wrong but please don’t make all encompassing generalisations if your own house is not in order. you heard the one about people in glass houses not throwing stones i presume.

          • January 8th 2013 @ 12:46am
            Kylesy Sky Blues Fan said | January 8th 2013 @ 12:46am | ! Report

            Not really like for like, that was one flare compared to the how many incidents that is now for Wanderers? We’ve been around for 7 seasons before and nothing happened, too. Your point is irrelevant without greater sufficient evidence.

            • January 8th 2013 @ 7:29am
              Paraskos said | January 8th 2013 @ 7:29am | ! Report

              i highlighted just one incident to make a point
              but that’s the problem wth the Cove – been around since the beginning but no-one really notices as they are irrelevant
              even you think they have only been around for 7 seasons…

              • January 8th 2013 @ 8:40am
                Poutsa said | January 8th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

                Paraskos has a point IMHO. Sydney’s fans are only quieter as their team is failing. As they have been a topsy-turvy club their misdemeanors go unnoticed during the odd successful season.

        • January 8th 2013 @ 5:49pm
          RBB Passion said | January 8th 2013 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

          For months many have sung praise to the RBB and the passion and atmosphere we create. Yet you cannot have it both ways. With joy comes anger. I do not throw bottles or flares nor will i but stop the grandiose moralizing. We love the Wanderers and despise Sydney FC. Sometimes passion ‘spills over’ on to sacred ground but having a home fortress means passionate fans becoming the twelfth man in the game. This ain’t the U.S dropping bombs on Pakistan or Israel killing Palestinians. It’s plastic bottles at Parrammatta Park. Pa pa paranoia.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 12:07pm
            Crown said | January 9th 2013 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

            RBB Passion Well Said Sir!

            We Love Our Wanderer’s, that’s what separates us from the Smurfs!

    • January 7th 2013 @ 7:43am
      Bondy. said | January 7th 2013 @ 7:43am | ! Report

      Great game of football between the Wanderers and Mariners a real cup tie atmosphere as well and was one of the more technical of games,its a positive for Australian Football also where if international guests were at that game they would have witnessed a very technical game and thats something football supporters should be proud of within Australiia.

      In relation to the Mariners Rogic and Ryan,where is the benefit if your on the cusp of being relegated ?, or for Ryan playing against drunks in the third teir of Scottish football ?. I thought that being a professional football player was about making the right decisions and puting your “football “first neither of these decisons make any sense and goes to illustrate the continued growth of the A League if anything.
      What about the season ticket holders who have to put up with this s### annually this is a crucial period for the Central Coast squad and effectively they have the ability to screw it up as well , January can prove fatal especially for a club like the Central Coast for people who want to muck around professioanlly. This is not a toy its a profession.

      • January 7th 2013 @ 8:06am
        Philip said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:06am | ! Report

        Somebody please buy Mat Ryan a ticket to Bali if he wants to go overseas so badly.

        • January 7th 2013 @ 8:23am
          jamesb said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:23am | ! Report

          Mariners are playing Victory in Tassie next game. So technically that match is overseas had Mat Ryan played LOL.

        • January 7th 2013 @ 5:29pm
          EdoH said | January 7th 2013 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

          Not only is it the wrong move, but does not say much for CCM club, and their value of the good talent in Mat and Tom. Boys please don’t sell your self to cheaply. There is plenty of time for you to go to bigger clubs and leagues.

    • January 7th 2013 @ 7:59am
      Philip said | January 7th 2013 @ 7:59am | ! Report

      I had been just singing the praises of the crowd when a referee call to not award a penalty to Bridges led to a flurry of bottles thrown onto the ground and a smoke flare being ripped. In a matter of seconds, probably 2 dozen idiots throwing bottles, took the gloss off 80 minutes of fantastic support. I just wish the lunatic fringe would appreciate that Football has something that no other code in Australia can come close to with the massed support, singing and chanting on the terraces. But it all comes unstuck when moments of stupidity take over and the sour taste your left with overpowers what was a sweet taste you’d been enjoying up to that moment.

      • January 7th 2013 @ 9:01am
        Bondy. said | January 7th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report


        I may be reading you incorrectly but a game of football lasts for 90 minutes not 80.

        • January 7th 2013 @ 10:47am
          Chop said | January 7th 2013 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          Bondy I think you are reading it incorrectly….

          Up until the 80th minute I was loving the atmosphere and then the last 10 minutes the idiot brigade undid all the good work with their behaviour in the last 10 minutes.

          I know there are some RBB people on here, they really need to do some self regulation.

          • January 7th 2013 @ 3:54pm
            Rookoz said | January 7th 2013 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

            Frustration is the feeling from the RBB and Active Bay Regulars.

          • January 7th 2013 @ 4:27pm
            Wanderer Chris said | January 7th 2013 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

            The problem is poor regulation at the grounds. I was under the impression that at least one of the bays on the north terrace was a members only section, yet in the past few weeks with the whole GA tickets selling out, the bays are almost full before the RBB even arrives. Yesterday was a bit disappointing because I was unable to get a seat at all on the north terrace, yet was not allowed to sit elsewhere because I was told it was not my seat when I tried. My seat is 4th row of Bay 56, how am I supposed to get that seat when it’s being populated by first timers? I’ve spoken to the stadium security and they were clueless to the sitation, may need to raise it further.

            As for the bottle throwers, what a disgrace. It’s a shame for the whole League, but it’s also very upsetting as an active member who has been to every game. It’s pretty hard to ‘self-police’ people who aren’t actually part of the RBB, just teenage goons who turn up to yell and carry on. I saw very little passion and spirit towards the game itself from a solid portion of the people sitting in the northern terrace yesterday. If it’s a matter of numbers vs legitimate support, I know which I prefer.

    • January 7th 2013 @ 8:01am
      striker said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Bondy there selling those players so they can cash in as we know the Mariners dont have the big backers other clubs have.

      • January 7th 2013 @ 8:11am
        Philip said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        It’s not the club actively selling players … it’s the players who want to go first and foremost, and the clubs don’ t have the power to keep them. With the salary cap the clubs cant pay what is required to keep the players from chasing the dream money they imagine they can get overseas.

        • January 7th 2013 @ 8:19am
          Bondy. said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:19am | ! Report


          Its not entirely about the money.

          • January 7th 2013 @ 1:33pm
            Kasey said | January 7th 2013 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

            Agree it isn’t always about the money…the best young Aussie players are always going to want to test themselves against the best players in the World. There is an unspoken agreement in football that clubs wont stand in the way of the better players trying their hand overseas…especially if the HAL club is adequately financially compensated. The place where the best players play will invariably attract the gaze of young tearaways from around the globe. At the moment, that place is Europe. There’s no guarantee it will always be Europe.

            With the larger amounts of money coming into Asia, In 50 years time our best players might decide that a Stint in the J.League is the way to test themselves against the best. Who knows? The big edge that Europe enjoys over Asia is that it has generations of tradition and football folklore to trade on where Asia and Australia especially do not yet.

    • Roar Guru

      January 7th 2013 @ 8:08am
      langou said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:08am | ! Report


      Last night was the first time I can remember in A-League history where a game had to be stopped because crowds were throwing things on the field yet you failed to mention this and went further by almost promoting this type of feral behaviour

      In fact the whole football media seems to have glossed over this incident.

      Victory have the best atmosphere in the league. Passionete active support at either end, family friendly atmosphere in the outer and regular big crowds.

      • January 7th 2013 @ 8:24am
        Punter said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

        The wanderers crows are great, but I too agree that when the penalty to Bridge was not awarded & the bottles, flares etc thrown onto the field was not acceptable. Very poor.

      • Columnist

        January 7th 2013 @ 8:28am
        Mike Tuckerman said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        I certainly don’t condone that type of behaviour. I’ve written at length about my disdain for it in the past. Any time anyone throws anything on the pitch it does a disservice to the game and I for one hope anyone caught doing it is banned from attending future fixtures.

    • Roar Guru

      January 7th 2013 @ 8:26am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      Yes, I’d have to agree. Based purely on comparing the atmosphere being transmitted via the FoxSports broadcast, in recent weeks, WSW’s support has set a new benchmark for noise, colour and co-ordinated support for the team.

      Of course, the non-football clowns will come on this forum today to tell us “mine is bigger than yours”. But, for the rest of the season, WSW will consistently fill Parramatta Stadium to 75-80% and, thankfully, even the football-illiterates will then be silenced.

      A pity the Gosford public hasn’t created a fortress at Bluetongue Stadium. They have the most consistent team in the A-League & the most community-based club. The players are doing their job; time for the fans to step up.

      • January 7th 2013 @ 8:54am
        vinie said | January 7th 2013 @ 8:54am | ! Report

        you dont just make fortresses at stadiums you need the right people to make it, the WSW fans have been around a while they just been starved football for the last 7 seasons thanks to the FFA and eastern suburbs sydney fc.

        dont wont to stereotype or use racial words but there no other multi cultural hotpots in australia appart from maybe melbourne that could generate a football support the way it is at WSW.

      • January 7th 2013 @ 10:49am
        Chop said | January 7th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report


        With about 1/5th of the population, I’d argue that the Mariners supporters are doing an outstanding job.

        • January 7th 2013 @ 1:50pm
          nordster said | January 7th 2013 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

          This. And given they are choosing to sit in the heat at early kickoffs on the north end, respect …maybe Singo can build them a shade sail or somethin lol…i dehydrate just watching them from the shade on the western stand. There are also a lot of younger families that go so now their kids are fans, they will probably start congregating with active support more over time.

      • January 7th 2013 @ 12:39pm
        Qantas supports Australian Football said | January 7th 2013 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        Sorry Fuss I’m not a non-footballing clown—-you are losing the plot; defending bottle and flare throwing Australian Football idiots..

        • January 7th 2013 @ 1:32pm
          vinie said | January 7th 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

          Hey Disgruntled Qantas, We are getting bigger mate, 16k last weekend, and its just the begining.

        • January 7th 2013 @ 1:51pm
          Kasey said | January 7th 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

          I am almost 100% sure that Fussball and all genuine football fans are very much hoping that anybody who was involved in the scenes yesterday are found and punished in a swift manner. I don’t see much defending of these idiots right to be an idiot at a football game. An example needs to be set, this type of behavior is unacceptable and there is no place for it in the HAL at any stadium.

        • January 7th 2013 @ 2:23pm
          Realfootball said | January 7th 2013 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

          He wasn’t.

          • January 7th 2013 @ 3:46pm
            Australian Rules said | January 7th 2013 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

            As you can read from the wording in his posts, Fuss fiercely attacks anything/anyone that doesn’t share his single-minded football zealotry (“non-football clowns”; “football illiterates” etc).

            In previous articles concerning the use of flares, Fuss pointed to the regular use of flares in Europe and Sth-Am leagues and noted that they were accepted as part of the game. In making that point, he suggested that Australians (he spells it “Strayans”) who object to flares are just too narrow-minded or precious.

            • January 7th 2013 @ 5:26pm
              Michael said | January 7th 2013 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

              And yet these sheep worship every word he writes like he’s Australian soccer’s own messiah. Scary really.

              • January 7th 2013 @ 5:32pm
                Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | January 7th 2013 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

                Rubbish Michael,now jog on.

              • January 7th 2013 @ 6:49pm
                Realfootbal said | January 7th 2013 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

                Has he ever defended flares? Sounds unlikely. Seems to me flares are a no brainer; having once seen the results when a similar object went down the back of someone’s shirt, I can attest that the things can be dangerous and are an accident waiting to happen.

                Yes, Fussball is a zealot. I have myself had signficant differences with him. So much so that we actually don’t speak on these threads, and I can certainly see how he irritates the followers of other codes. But I think to describe us as sheep, Michael, is overegging the pudding, and in your case perhaps the answer is to stay away from football threads, because sure as God made apples, Fussball will be all over them.

              • January 7th 2013 @ 6:51pm
                Reynoldsinski said | January 7th 2013 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

                Maybe not you Brick, but the other muppets like Punter, c and Bondy just wait to see what he writes and then follow up with similar dribble.

              • January 7th 2013 @ 9:34pm
                Punter said | January 7th 2013 @ 9:34pm | ! Report

                Reynoldski, you still on the football threads, I see. Any positive comments about the games on the weekend or just your usual Negative comments.

            • Roar Guru

              January 7th 2013 @ 7:12pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | January 7th 2013 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

              Aah the AFL numskulls are back.

              I guess, they’ve finished their in-depth, daily discussion: “who will make the 8 this year”?

              • January 7th 2013 @ 7:26pm
                Australian Rules said | January 7th 2013 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                The irony of this post is brilliant.

                Like most Aussie sports lovers, I follow a multitude of sports, including soccer.

                Keep on the war footing old chap…

              • January 7th 2013 @ 11:08pm
                Dingo said | January 7th 2013 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

                A.R don’t take his bait.

                You and 99% of Roarers are of the same opinion about this bloke. It’s obvious that he is hoping to start a code war, just leave to him wallow in his own refuse.

              • January 8th 2013 @ 9:17am
                Australian Rules said | January 8th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

                I realise that Dingo…but I also think people should be held to task for what they post…even if we are all “anonymous” on this site.

                This is the same guy who stated he’d been to more VFL/AFL games than any person on the Roar … he also asserted that Paris was a city of 2 million people.

                And yet the arrogance continues unabated.

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