The Western Sydney Wanderers’ return to prominence begins on Saturday night when they face the Central Coast Mariners at a new and improved Wanderland.
It’s been three years since the Wanderers last played an A-League fixture at the Parramatta-based facility, but this Saturday’s opening round clash against the Mariners at Bankwest Stadium promises to be the start of something very special for local football fans.
While Western Sydney haven’t featured in an A-League Finals series since the 2016/17 season, there’s strong belief that this year’s crop – featuring a host of new faces – could break that drought.
With Wanderers coach Markus Babbel back at the helm, this season’s roster will welcome back some familiar names alongside some fresh ones including Pirmin Schwegler, Daniel Lopar, Daniel Georgievski, Dylan McGowan, Matt Jurman and Alex Meier.
Western Sydney local Mitchell Duke will wear the captain’s armband for the Red and Black in season 2019/20.
The Wanderers will go into this weekend’s season opener against Central Coast off the back of a solid pre-season in which they performed admirably during a series of friendlies and the FFA Cup.
Unfortunately for the Wanderers they’ll be without new Polish signing Radoslaw Majewski for much of the season following a very serious knee injury at training recently.
Western Sydney’s Round 1 opponents, Central Coast, enjoyed a very solid pre-season, making the semi finals of the FFA Cup before going down to Adelaide United.
Fox Sports will once again be the home of the A-League this season, broadcasting every match live; while ABC TV will air the 5pm Saturday fixture each week including Saturday evening’s clash between the Wanderers and Mariners.
A-League boss Greg O’Rourke said the upcoming season will see the dawn of a new era.
“We have an expanded league with the introduction of our newest club, Western United FC. They will provide a new narrative, new rivalries and new fans in one of the fastest growing regions in Australia,” he said.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.