Local lovers of the round ball game get global glimpse

March 20, 2024 8:17 am in by
WUFC women are serious contenders for the 2024 premiership (FACEBOOK/WESTERN UNITED)

Aspiring and devoted followers of football in Melbourne say the flying in of three major league English teams for games in Melbourne is testament to the sports growth in the state.

Arsenal’s women’s team will play a series of internationals at the MCG and Docklands in May, including against an all-star squad of A-league women’s players.

Ange Postecoglou will similarly fly in with his Tottenham team to play against the visiting Newcastle United F.C. at the MCG in May, with games also lined up against an all-star squad of A-league men’s players.

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Fresh from the women’s sides inaugural game at the newly completed Tarneit ground, Western United Football Club (WUFC) says it’s all pointing to a bright future for the sports expansion.

“We have a pathway now for every aspiring young boy, young female, to play for Western United Football Club with our youth academy’s and our affiliations to NPL teams in Victoria,” WUFCs GM of Football Mal Impiombato said.

The women’s side has consistently topped the A-league women’s table this season, only dropping to second after their 3-1 loss at the Tarneit opener last weekend.

The WUFC men’s squad will make their home ground debut in April (FACEBOOK/WESTERN UNITED FC)

The men’s side has similarly shown some late form, albeit after a disappointing season, but already have a premiership after beating Melbourne City in the 2022 A-League final.

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Mr Impiombato is eyeing off the long game though, pointing out the club’s touring games throughout the season that’s helping to raise the WUFC profile.

“We’ve played games in Geelong, we’ve played games in Ballarat and we were able to broaden our base across the west of Melbourne and we certainly hope to broaden that group of people and bring them closer to our home in Tarneit.”

The club is also confident it will have players in contention for both the men and women’s all-star squads when they line up against the English sides, while cautioning its unclear exactly how the selection process will work.

It’s another demonstration though, that young players and their fans can see a clear pathway through the game locally into games against some of the biggest name clubs globally.