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How the Wanderers could win the West

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

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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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    Gold Coast who? It is amazing to think that just under 12 months ago A-League officials were vexed by what to do about Clive Palmer, when all the talk now is of a brand new club potentially becoming a powerhouse of the competition.

    It’s safe to say at this point that Western Sydney Wanderers’ entry into the competition has been an unqualified success.

    Built from nothing after Gold Coast United were unceremoniously but necessarily dumped last year, the Wanderers are winning games on the field and winning over fans and corporate support off it.

    And if the issue of A-League expansion is to return to the agenda any time soon, it’s worth trying to pinpoint what the Wanderers have done right.

    Firstly they appointed an astute tactician, and Sydney FC must be kicking themselves at having let Tony Popovic slip away.

    The widely respected former Socceroo has breathed new life into a core of established A-League players, with the likes of Ante Covic, Michael Beauchamp and Mark Bridge showing several former employers that they’ve got a point to prove.

    Popovic has also highlighted the benefit of overseas experience, gunning for Japanese ace Shinji Ono as the club’s marquee import with unprecedented results.

    Had Popovic not spent time in the J. League at current champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima, the opportunity may never have arisen to sign a player who is now one of the A-League’s most influential.

    But as much as the Wanderers are deservedly attracting headlines for their on-field success, it’s off the field – where corporate support is growing along with the fanbase – that suggests basing a team in western Sydney was long overdue.

    And surely one organisation has more to fear from the rise of the Wanderers than most – the National Rugby League.

    The AFL might be keen to make inroads but the fact is that western Sydney is rugby league heartland.

    The Wanderers’ growing crowds have brought into sharp relief the fact that NRL clubs Parramatta Eels, Wests Tigers, Canterbury Bulldogs and to a lesser extent Penrith Panthers are all fighting for fans from the same catchment area.

    What the Wanderers have done is essentially unite those areas under one banner, and they’re seeing success as a result.

    That could be a problem for Parramatta in particular this season, with the Eels possessing a paper-thin squad as disgruntled members turn their back after years of off-field turmoil.

    The club which could benefit from that, far more than AFL club Greater Western Sydney ever could, is the Wanderers.

    It has been interesting to note the reaction – or lack thereof – from new NRL chief executive Dave Smith over the rumour up to 14 Cronulla players could be stood down in relation to ASADA’s investigation of the club.

    Fresh from getting troubled Bulldogs star and reigning Dally M medal-winner Ben Barba’s name wrong during the NRL’s season launch, Smith has been conspicuously silent over the brewing Sharks saga.

    Where once a steady and articulate David Gallop would have calmly fronted the press to announce the NRL’s course of action, suddenly rugby league’s administration is floundering.

    Their loss is clearly football’s gain, and it’s a similar scenario when it comes to the Wanderers.

    With any luck and with no disrespect intended to the Wellington Phoenix, hopefully the Wanderers continue their fairytale winning run and pack the stands at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday.

    Because if the general sports lovers of the region get a sniff of a potentially championship-winning side, they may just jump off the rugby league bandwagon and put their hard-earned into football instead.

    It’s hardly a romantic notion but that’s the brutal economic reality of big-business sport.

    The opportunity exists for the Wanderers to become western Sydney’s premier sporting team. They should do everything within their power to try and seize it with both hands.

    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 (174)

    • March 8th 2013 @ 6:41am
      Ahmed said | March 8th 2013 @ 6:41am | ! Report

      You do realise that people can follow more than one sport right?

      Yes, the Wanderers could become the biggest sport club in the West, but it doesnt have to be at the expense of other sports.

      Seems like soccer in Australia has been trying to build an us vs them mentality in order to create a community that people will want to be a part of. Good luck with that.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 7:01am
        MV Dave said | March 8th 2013 @ 7:01am | ! Report

        How old are you Ahmed? I ask because you seem to have no knowledge of the history of Football in Oz. if you did have such knowledge you could not have made that last statement.

        • Roar Guru

          March 8th 2013 @ 8:16am
          TomC said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:16am | ! Report

          Dave, as a football fan of many, many years, I wholeheartedly agree with Ahmed’s comment.

          • March 8th 2013 @ 10:30am
            Dean said | March 8th 2013 @ 10:30am | ! Report

            Football has been on the receiving end of condemnation for many years (some self inflicted reasons but others through outright prejudice ala ‘sheilas, wogs and poofters’.) some and Mike’s article is a reflection of the dignity and new found and long overdue self esteem that fans feel and that the corporate sector is beginning to appreciate.
            People are perfectly entitled to follow more than one sport but we have many football fanatics these days.

        • March 8th 2013 @ 5:36pm
          Ahmed said | March 8th 2013 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

          It does seem to me that alot of soccer fans of the past have a score to settle. I do know the whole history though.

          But that attitude has been completely different from general society since the 90’s.

          • Columnist

            March 8th 2013 @ 8:03pm
            Mike Tuckerman said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

            “You do realise that people can follow more than one sport right?” No Ahmed, I had no idea… which is why I’m totally not a member of an A-League club and an NRL club at the same time.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 7:03am
        Stevo said | March 8th 2013 @ 7:03am | ! Report

        Yes people can and do follow more than one sport but I nearly spat my Weetbix out when you wrote “soccer in Australia has been trying to build an us vs them mentality” You lost me there. No fear of that in Melbourne where AFL is the king of us (“the greatest game on earth”) vs those other games propaganda.

        • Roar Guru

          March 8th 2013 @ 11:04am
          The_Wookie said | March 8th 2013 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          oddly enough “greatest game on earth” is the NRL slogan. The AFL is “Australias game”

          • Roar Guru

            March 8th 2013 @ 12:17pm
            apaway said | March 8th 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            And on that Wookie, here’s me, committed football tragic, absolutely loving the AFL’s new TV promo, the one with AC/DC’s “Long Way To The Top”, with people tuning into TVs in different parts of the world and being amazed by what they see in an AFL game.

            But to the article: I think that in essence, the Wanderers have blown away expectations in their first season, and for once, have shown the AFL how to do expansion. However, I don’t think the Eels, Tigers, Bulldogs or Panthers have a great deal to fear from the Wanderers. The A-League is a summer competition, the NRL a winter one. I’m not sure how many of the Wanderers support base have drifted over from rugby league but I suspect it is not a great deal, and I can’t see a newly converted Wanderers fan abandon their rugby league club. Jeez, even I can support an NRL side and an A-league side and I am the most time-poor person I know. Just ask my boss!

            • Roar Guru

              March 8th 2013 @ 12:21pm
              The_Wookie said | March 8th 2013 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

              i know plenty of Adelaide United supporters who are also Adelaide or Port Adelaide members.

            • March 8th 2013 @ 12:42pm
              Australian Rules said | March 8th 2013 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

              “the Wanderers have blown away expectations in their first season, and for once, have shown the AFL how to do expansion”

              That’s true to an extent (there’s no question that the AFL made mistakes in launching GWS)…but it’s a bogus comparison to make.

              One was finally putting a team in the game’s heartland – the other was putting a team of kids in an area where there was almost zero footprint previously. The AFL’s strategy is to have a solid base of supporters in 10-20 years…only then will we know if it’s been successful.

              • Roar Guru

                March 8th 2013 @ 1:49pm
                apaway said | March 8th 2013 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                Happy to concede the point, AR. I think it’s also true that the Wanderers need to prove themselves “over time” and am aware that the AFL have a good track record of playing the “long game”, as evidenced by the Swans and Lions. I do think however, that the Giants first season was mismanaged and one of the things they could learn from the Wanderers success is to lay down the roots of the club in a certain place and stick with it.

              • March 8th 2013 @ 2:54pm
                Australian Rules said | March 8th 2013 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Yeah agree with that ap.

                No question the AFL made some clangers with the new team – oh well, you live n learn.

              • Roar Pro

                March 8th 2013 @ 10:06pm
                albatross said | March 8th 2013 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

                >>but it’s a bogus comparison to make

                Surely you mean “bogan comparison”?

            • March 8th 2013 @ 1:08pm
              Ian said | March 8th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

              i think the afl promo is one of the lamest ads i have ever seen. actors from other countries pretending they like afl. afl focuses too much on what they hope other countries will think of the australian game. apart from expats there is little interest . is that supposed to make australian afl supporters feel good pretending the world has a legitimate interest in afl?

              • Roar Guru

                March 8th 2013 @ 1:52pm
                apaway said | March 8th 2013 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                Maybe I just like the song, Ian…:) Let’s not forget, it’s a promo and a pretty compelling one, regardless of what the reality might be.

              • March 8th 2013 @ 2:50pm
                Australian Rules said | March 8th 2013 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

                Ian, the point of the AFL’s ad was to show that the world does *not* know about it…and when viewed by a bunch of “first-timers” it seemed quirky, funny, fast and undeniably Australian.

              • March 9th 2013 @ 11:36pm
                Football Nation said | March 9th 2013 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

                Look sorry but the AFL ad is like a free ad for Soccer/Football as we all know what the world really watches…..and the League slogan Greatest Game Of All….means people think of Soccer/Football as
                We all know with 400 miilion players and over a million in Oz ?( as opposed to 100 thou od RL players Abs does not ever include RL in its partispation survey)…. What most people would call the Greatest Game of all……..
                They both just spent millions and ended up promoting …..Football

          • March 8th 2013 @ 12:58pm
            Bondy said | March 8th 2013 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

            Proudly sponsored by Toyota.Wheres the sense in it.

          • March 9th 2013 @ 10:36am
            ZipGunBop said | March 9th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            @Wookie, I think the NRL slogan is “greatest game of all”

        • March 8th 2013 @ 5:38pm
          Ahmed said | March 8th 2013 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

          It generally is ‘our sport is the greatest sport in the world’ yes. But the majority of media in Melbourne is alot more favourable to other sports than Sydney.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 8:00am
        Punter said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:00am | ! Report

        Ahmed, West Sydney is called the heartland of football where many former NSL clubs resided, it’s also the home of many NRL teams as well, so I think most people already follow more than 1 sport in the West. I would say West Sydney is also the heartland of RL.
        Not sure where you are coming from.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 10:21am
        Sampstar said | March 8th 2013 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        I totally agree Ahmed. I’m a massive Tigers fan. But having the Wanderers to support in the A-league gives me a reason to hold onto my Foxtel sports package over the summer. It’s absolutely ok to love all codes as long as you have a team to support.

        • March 8th 2013 @ 5:39pm
          Ahmed said | March 8th 2013 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

          ‘as long as you have a team to support’

          The Giants are justified by that very statement.

    • Roar Guru

      March 8th 2013 @ 7:31am
      NUFCMVFC said | March 8th 2013 @ 7:31am | ! Report

      Interesting food for thought

      Firstly it’s very good for football that the powerful grassroots interest is also translating into a well supported professional team at the other end of the spectrum

      I would have thought though that there are more synergies between football and Rugby, as we can see through the idea of upgrading Parramatta stadium that was put forward a few weeks ago. In terms of a bigger stadium in the west, what the wanderer s means is that a new rectangular stadium can get full year usage from wsw in the summer and a few NRL clubs in the winter, they are more in harmony than is the case with NRL and afl which are played in different shaped stadiums plus one in ws can follow NRL in winter and wsw in summer, so on certain levels I don’t think there would be as much of an ‘us vs them’ mentality in terms of association football and nrl given the joint opportunities, NRL would be more concerned about the afl given it is currently the gorilla in aus sport and would see wsw/association football as an ally

      I think the real problem in ws would be for the afl, as wsw have taken interest and captured the novelty of the new big thing which obstructs gws from getting any momentum. For NRL the question is how to revitalise themselves on their traditional patch, for the afl however this is an important growth area where they need the new audience if they are to keep progressing and get more tv $. A league and all are for the most part played in different seasons though, so any competition isn’t so much with direct audiences but with facilities and corporate support

      In the bigger scheme of things then, I guess it appears afl succeeded and the a league flopped on the Gold Coast, but football looks like getting upper hand in ws

    • March 8th 2013 @ 7:45am
      parrawandere0 said | March 8th 2013 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      I cannot see how Parramatta’s members have turned their back on the club. Parra averaged almost 17,000 in a wooden spoon year. Their 2013 membership number is at a record high of over 13,000.

      As a Parra member who also is a Wanderers member I find that the two clubs complement eachother perfectly – one for summer and one for winter.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 8:07am
        Punter said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        Exactly, there are many fans of both sports & long may it continue. The NRL is kicking off this week & still in the news are the Wanderers, this is great news, as Steve’s says below why can’t we even follow all sports without the need to be the biggest.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 8:21am
        Reynoldsinski said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:21am | ! Report

        Your first paragraph sums it up. Parramatta get almsot 17k average in a wooden spoon year, while WSW are getting under 12k in what could be a premiership year. Nothing to see here.

        • March 8th 2013 @ 8:49am
          Punter said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:49am | ! Report

          Parra’s been around for 70 years & WSW around than 7 months. I think there is something to see here. While I don’t want to get to compare with other sports. I think WSW has been a huge success in anybody’s business & it’s one that we as football fans should celebrate.

          • March 8th 2013 @ 9:53am
            Jps said | March 8th 2013 @ 9:53am | ! Report

            finally some said it right football not soccer 🙂

        • Roar Guru

          March 8th 2013 @ 9:43am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | March 8th 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

          “Parramatta get almsot 17k average in a wooden spoon year”

          Oh this is soooo funny.

          Parramatta NRL club was formed 60+ years ago… WSW was formed 10 months ago..

          If WSW is getting 17k crowds in 60 years, then I’ll be very concerned .. hopefully, I’ll be observing from the bleachers in the sky. 😀

          • March 8th 2013 @ 2:43pm
            B.A Sports said | March 8th 2013 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

            What is funny?

            Yes, the Eels average 17,000….. And the Tigers average 17,000 and the Panthers average 13,000 and the Bulldogs 20,000. So if WSW are averaging less than 67,000 per game in 60 years, then you have a comparison.

            But as highlighted, by others, some people are capable of taking an interest in more than one sport. So it is only viewed as a straight competition by the paranoid ones..

            • Roar Guru

              March 8th 2013 @ 2:51pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | March 8th 2013 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

              “So if WSW are averaging less than 67,000 per game in 60 years, then you have a comparison”

              67k in 60 yrs – sounds a reasonable target for WSW.

          • March 8th 2013 @ 5:42pm
            Ahmed said | March 8th 2013 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

            You must be getting very very anxious about the Brisbane Roar crowds then. 56 years old!! and ONLY 13,000/game.

        • Roar Guru

          March 8th 2013 @ 12:21pm
          apaway said | March 8th 2013 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          No, there’s ALOT to see here, Reynoldski, and the main one is that the Wanderers and Eels are seeming to live in harmony with one another after all that early silliness about putting a WSW shirt on Ray Price’s statue. Long may it continue, and as a previous poster pointed out, hopefully this is the impetus to getting Parramatta Stadium upgraded and the capacity increased to benefit both codes.

        • March 8th 2013 @ 8:06pm
          Jon stevens said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

          Nothing to see here except the away supporters from dogs panthers bunnies tiger eagles roosters dragons sharks that add to parras crowds. Mmmm.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 8:25am
        jbinnie said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        Glad someone noticed parra——-. The sports you mention don’t actually compete for fans at the same time of year, thanks to that much maligned idea we have had for many many years—— “summer soccer” Cheers jb

      • March 8th 2013 @ 8:32am
        AGO74 said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        As a bulldogs and sydney fan – I agree 100% on your year round sport and teams to follow comment.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 11:35am
        Matt F said | March 8th 2013 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        Spot on. I consider myself quite a passionate supporter of clubs in the NRL, AFL and A-League so I’ve never understood the “us vs them” mentality that some of the code warriors have. The idea that if you start supporting a team you must be ending your support for another is an odd idea. I love the fact that I have teams to follow all year long

    • March 8th 2013 @ 7:45am
      Steve said | March 8th 2013 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      What ate the A-League people so paranoid about. It’s a daily obsession to compare the A-League to other sports in Australia. I love the CCM, Manly and the Aussie cricket team. I’m almost suffocating from the constant barrage of daily crowd and tv rating updates. What satisfaction does somebody get from the sport they follow becoming more popular. Is it some sort of justification? To me it seems like an illness.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • Roar Guru

        March 8th 2013 @ 7:56am
        NUFCMVFC said | March 8th 2013 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        Wouldn’t say paranoid lol, it’s really a matter of always translating strong grassroots participation into a strong professional presence. Paranoia is actually the other way round, eg other sports are worried about football breaking through. Not so much an issue from a sports fan perspective, but it is a business issue for administrators given they are all competing for slices of the tv money and corporate support pie

    • March 8th 2013 @ 8:06am
      JAJI said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      I am a football man through and through but the NRL will always be the main game in Sydney – always has and always will be and armed with $1BN TV deal will get even stronger – despite the constant sagas off the field the game is always front and central in the mainstream media – and by mainstream I refer to Baz and Shaz watching Channel Nine, reading the Daily Terror etc etc

      In any event we are not in competition with the NRL – the A League ends in 4 weeks, the NRL season has just started – so its silly to even talk of competition

      What has been satisfying, I must say though, is comparing the Wanderers to the AFL’s efforts in Western Sydney, despite the millions and millions Demetriou has thrown at the area….

      • March 8th 2013 @ 8:16am
        Punter said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:16am | ! Report

        Jaji, I’m not a big AFL either, but what the AFL are doing is totally different to the Wanderers, they know West Sydney is not an AFL heartland, but understand that West Sydney is the most populated place in Australia & they want to set a base, a foothold to give the juniors a path in West Sydney. The AFL were not expecting a boom & instant 30-40K crowds, they have that elsewhere.

        • Roar Guru

          March 8th 2013 @ 8:33am
          Redb said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:33am | ! Report

          Well said Punter.

        • March 8th 2013 @ 10:23am
          JAJI said | March 8th 2013 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          Then why did they go and poach a major NRL star and pay him massive dollars?

          • March 8th 2013 @ 11:30am
            Matt F said | March 8th 2013 @ 11:30am | ! Report

            Because they wanted to get GWS media coverage. When you’re a new team playing a sport that isn’t very popular in the local area, you’re going to struggle to get much media coverage unless you do something to generate interest. The Swans struggle for serious media coverage unless they’re in the Top 4 and GWS were never going to be doing that, so they had to try something else to get media interest. Signing a high-profile player from a high-profile sport did this.

            While the AFL clearly see GWS as a long-term project that doesn’t mean that they were going to do nothing about trying to grow the club in the short-term. Whether it was successful or not is another issue of course

        • March 8th 2013 @ 10:42am
          Tigranes said | March 8th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          Well said, WS has never been an AFL heartland, but I think GWS probably forced the FFA to bring in WSW.

          • March 8th 2013 @ 2:31pm
            Blaze said | March 8th 2013 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

            In doing so, for myself, whom never at all liked afl or soccer (sorry football), the forcing of the AFL upon me has made me open up to the WSW, still can’t bring myself to watch a game just yet, however it’s more than likely a matter of time…. Maybe it’s just me but that’s what has happened. To put it simply, the afl with all it’s money and gimmicks succeeded only in pushing me towards a different “new” team which to the average joe just went about their business… Basically the blue collar way… But hey that’s just my personal opinion.

            • March 8th 2013 @ 2:52pm
              Matt F said | March 8th 2013 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

              Forcing of AFL? I wasn’t aware that they took people hostage and forced them into the stadiums?

              • March 8th 2013 @ 3:38pm
                Blaze said | March 8th 2013 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

                Neither am I matt… However you don’t have to be taken hostage and forced into stadiums for something to be forced upon you… Tampon ads and political partys are forced upon me also, doesn’t mean I’m a hostage… I simply change the channel or give my vote elsewhere… Which is my point, if something is pushed in my face as much as GWS was here, I’m naturally going to form an opinion of dislike… Like I sed, that’s solely my opinion, and if it offends I apologise sincerely…. Pft.

              • March 8th 2013 @ 3:59pm
                Titus said | March 8th 2013 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

                Maybe not Blaze but you are being unAustralian if you don’t follow our game.

              • March 8th 2013 @ 4:34pm
                Blaze said | March 8th 2013 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

                Lol unAustralian? Exactly the mentality that turns me away… I’m assuming that comment was in jest? If so I can conclude that even the humour of the code is off putting, and if in fact it was of a serious note then either the codes supporters or perhaps just you yourself has indeed got issues.

            • March 8th 2013 @ 5:44pm
              Ahmed said | March 8th 2013 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

              You were never ever going to follow the Giants no matter what their marketing was. No loss on the Giants part.

              • March 8th 2013 @ 6:03pm
                Blaze said | March 8th 2013 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

                I’m sorry Ahmed, didn’t realise you knew me… Oh that’s right, you don’t. I never had a problem with the afl before, the same as I didn’t with “soccer”, I just didn’t particularly like to watch either, and with the comments coming from the supporters your right, it is no great loss.. Enjoy your beloved afl mate, it really doesn’t bother me if GWS is here or not, I was just voicing my personal opinion on an opinion based site about the way both teams were introduced and the reaction I had personally. No need to get upset champ.

              • March 8th 2013 @ 6:17pm
                Ahmed said | March 8th 2013 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

                But I am interested. Other than marketing the club well and making sure everyone knows about it and when the games are on, which bits in particular were you offended by?

                Please dont tell me that you read the Terrorgraph..

              • March 8th 2013 @ 7:36pm
                Blaze said | March 8th 2013 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

                Mate I really don’t read newspapers in general, however I frequently visit sites such as this one, watch plenty of foxtel, including general FTO programming, I also have two children at school, who you can imagine bring stuff home, Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with my son or daughter playing the game. If they enjoy it and it gets them out of the house/ classroom them great! The issue I had was the constant ramming down my throat, everywhere I looked it was GWS/afl… I realise the need for advertising to be at a premium to introduce the code in this area, I just found it to be excessive and annoying… Especially when comparing to WSW which I hardly heard much about… From what I saw and heard, they just went about their business without all the grandstanding, in your face type of advertising.. Like I sed before, it’s purely my opinion and I can admit I’m being pedantic, just got over it all real quick. Obviously I’m as sick of seeing falou as I am of seeing Gillard or abbots heads. It’s actually a bit more of a personal selling point of GWS now Israel is gone. That’s about it, no intention of offending the faithful, solely my thoughts on the difference on the introduction of two codes in my backyard and how it affected me personally. That’s all mate.

          • March 8th 2013 @ 2:57pm
            Punter said | March 8th 2013 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

            I think the FFA were always going to have a West Sydney side, but unlike the AFL, financially more stable & admin resourced & a host of other things, they were not able to put a side there quicker.

        • Roar Pro

          March 8th 2013 @ 10:18pm
          albatross said | March 8th 2013 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

          >>a path in West Sydney

          A path? FFS just two or three steps after Auskick you are playing at the highest level you’ll ever be at: playing for Essondon or wherever it suits the powers that be, No wonder the best players take to drugs and beat up their partners – they’re bored witless at 22,

    • March 8th 2013 @ 8:27am
      Swampy said | March 8th 2013 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      I thought I heard Paramatta Eagles have already begun to work with WSW to benefit both clubs, particularly with regards to stadium upgrades and membership deals.

      This would fly in the face of the article and a non-trolling journo would be well aware if such talks were taking place.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • March 8th 2013 @ 10:13am
        Punter said | March 8th 2013 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        Parramatta Eagles???? Where do they play?

        • March 8th 2013 @ 10:42am
          Tigranes said | March 8th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          melita Eagles maybe?

          • Roar Guru

            March 8th 2013 @ 12:25pm
            apaway said | March 8th 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

            Now known as Parramatta FC Eagles, run by the enormous Granville Association, playing out of Melita Stadium, and with a strong, if informal relationship with the Wanderers.

      • March 8th 2013 @ 11:35am
        Matt F said | March 8th 2013 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        I never thought I’d see the day when Parramatta and Manly merged

        • Roar Pro

          March 8th 2013 @ 12:57pm
          The High Shot said | March 8th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

          It’s like mixing two shades of black to create a new shade of black

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