2012 was a great year for me! Why? Besides getting married to my awesome wife, it was the year the "Champions of Asia" - Western Sydney Wanderers was created. I was feeling so inspired by the monumental achievements leading up to the two legs of the Asian Champions League Finals that I asked Lel if she could curate a Party Kit for WSW Fans like me and below is the result!
The Red and Black Party Kit is now available for your birthday, game day or any other celebration.
I was there at the first A-League game on October 6th 2012 when we played Central Coast Mariners and it ended in a draw. There was a level of energy and presence at Parramatta Stadium I had never felt before! It was an absolutely amazing experience the first time I was involved with the "Who do you sing for" chant. The sense of pride and passion I felt that night is usually reserved for really special life moments and it is definitely one!
Before the Wanderers came along, I never followed the A-League. Instead, I watched the European leagues like others who didn't feel a connection with the existing Australian teams. Although, I still followed all of the Socceroo's qualifying campaigns and subsequently the World Cup tournaments which took my love for the game to another level. Today, I can proudly admit my obsession with the game...
Photos: Live site at Parramatta - Sunday, 2nd November 2014
I love that when I go to the games, I never feel like I don't belong. Western Sydney is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the entire country and you can see it in the stadium! We unite under one banner and we sing for one team. It's great this sport can bring so many different people together!
FYI: According to University of Western Sydney, the region comprises on 14 local government areas: Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Camden, Canterbury, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Holroyd, The Hills, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith and Wollondilly.
Video: Fans' reaction after winning Asian Champions League, Parramatta 2014
You could see this from the start that the club was trying to embody Western Sydney. The team worked hard and never gave up on each other. Tony Popovic, the master tactician was always prepared for games and oozed confidence which spilled over to the players and all the fans. The first few games were hard and people questioned whether or not the team could compete with the rest of the league. By April 2013, not only did the Wanderers complete an astonishing 10-game winning streak, they also won the Premiers Plate and got to the Grand Final in their first year!
The sense of self belief has been evident over the three seasons and it resonates with me! Ever since High School, I promised myself that when I pursue an idea or project; I will try my hardest to achieve it and most importantly believe that I can achieve it. Furthermore, we can all relate to the underdog status that the Wanderers had to endure during the recent ACL campaign and how inspiring it has been for the team to overcome all the obstacles and achieve success!
Thousands of Fans welcoming the team home after their ACL 2014 triumph! 3/11/2014
Video - Fans singing at Sydney Airport, 3/11/2014
Finally, I started playing Futsal about a year before the inception of the Wanderers but since going to the games, I've increased the frequency and actually joined competitions. This year, I started playing outdoor for my local team too which has been a long time since my one and only awful awful season with Birrong FC as a 12 year old! These days, my schedule works around my main commitments of Futsal/Soccer, family and work. It's been great for my health and wellbeing, and I've also met a lot of good people from playing so I look forward to another 50 years of involvement with the game!
Photo: Khai feeling super proud after a crazy time watching the game at Parramatta
If you're interested in watching more of the Wanderer's epic journey, watch this 90 minute documentary called "Wanderers: The Complete Story" by Panuccio Productions.
Comment below to let us know why you love the Wanderers!
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