Western Sydney Wanderers

Founded In
Sydney, Australia

About Western Sydney Wanderers

Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club was established in 2012 in order to compete in the 2012-13 A-League season. The team is based in Blacktown, Western Sydney, New South Wales, and as a result, they have a ready-made local rival in Sydney FC. The rivalry between the two clubs follows the pattern of various other major sports in Sydney, where an "East vs. West" dynamic exists.

The birth of the Western Sydney Wanderers came after Gold Coast United were removed from the A-League at the end of the 2011-12 season for breaching regulations. The decision to remove Gold Coast United left a vacancy in the league. After announcing their desire for a Western Sydney-based franchise, the Football Federation of Australia eventually took responsibility for starting and running the club, utilising community forums in order to decide names, colours and overall values.

The team exceeded all expectations during their debut season, as manager Tony Popovic guided his side to a history-making campaign, during which they finished top of the league in the regular season to become the A-League Premiers. Their season included a remarkable unbeaten run and a period of ten consecutive wins. As a result of their Premiership win, they gained entry into the following season's AFC Champions League, as well as a place in the A-League Finals Series. After overcoming Brisbane Roar in the semi-final stage, they eventually lost to the Central Coast Mariners in the Grand Final to end their inaugural season as A-League Championship runners up.

Australian international Michael Beauchamp was the team's first ever captain, while their top scorer in the 2012-13 campaign was fellow national team player Mark Bridge.

The Wanderers play their home matches at Parramatta Stadium, which they share with the Parramatta Eels rugby league team. The stadium first opened in 1986 and was reveloped in 2002. It is currently able to hold up to 20,741 supporters, although there are plans to expand the capacity in the future.

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