The Western Sydney Wanderers will bring top-flight football to Penrith for the first time in 29 years when they take their Hyundai A-League Round 17 match to Sportingbet Stadium.
The visit of Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, February 8 will be the first time Penrith has hosted top-tier mens football since the final round of the National Soccer League 1985 season.
On that day a Randell Easthorpe hat-trick secured a 4-1 win for Penrith City against Newcastle KB United at Cook Park in what was the club’s last match in the NSL.
Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said the Club was looking forward to featuring in the next chapter of Penrith’s sporting history.
“We’re very proud to play a home match in a region that has such a proud footballing history as Penrith,” said Tsatsimas.
“A large number of high profile players have come from this region and establishing further roots in the West with matches like this play a major role in ensuring Western Sydney remains the nursery of football talent in Australia.”
The Weekender understands the Wanderers originally planned to play in Penrith against Perth on December 9, but this match has now been re-scheduled. The game against Wellington was originally scheduled for Pirtek Stadium in Parramatta but was recently changed to “to be confirmed”.
The Wanderers have previously played a trial at Sportingbet Stadium but this is the first time they’ve brought an A-League match to the venue.
The Wanderers Westfield W-League team will also return to the stadium for their final home game of the season when they take on Brisbane Roar on Sunday, December 7 in a match that will be televised live on ABC 1.
It continues the growing relationship between Western Sydney Wanderers and the Nepean region that also sees community work, player appearances and Foxtel National Youth League matches feature in the area.
“The Penrith area is a strong base for Wanderers fans with the Nepean region having the second highest number of Foundation Members and we see this game as a way of rewarding those Members,” explained Tsatsimas.
“The Wanderers do a large amount of community work in the Penrith area. The return of top-flight football to the region for the first time in 29 years is the next step in strengthening the partnership between Nepean and Western Sydney Wanderers.”
Panthers Group Chief Commercial Officer Justin Pascoe is looking forward to hosting both the W-League and the A-League matches in Penrith.
“We are delighted to welcome the Wanderers and the A-League out to Sportingbet Stadium for these two games. Panthers is continuously working to secure more events like these for the entertainment of people in the Penrith region, and also for the Greater Western Sydney area and as far out as Lithgow, Bathurst and Dubbo. We aim to offer fans not only a venue to watch their sporting matches, but an entire precinct for all of their entertainment needs,” he said.
The game against Wellington will kick off at 5pm on Sunday, February 8.
The Panthers will not have used the venue for an NRL match at that point, and are unlikely to do so until a trial match a fortnight later.