Campbelltown A-league bid ramps up

That's the goal: Western Sydney Wanderer Steven Lustica celebrates scoring a goal during the AFC Champions League football match between the Wanderers and Shanghai Sipg FC at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium in May last year. Picture: AAP Image/David Moir
That's the goal: Western Sydney Wanderer Steven Lustica celebrates scoring a goal during the AFC Champions League football match between the Wanderers and Shanghai Sipg FC at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium in May last year. Picture: AAP Image/David Moir

Campbelltown Council’s bid to have an A-league team based in Macarthur is gaining momentum.

In December last year the council announced that it was spearheading the South West Sydney Football Bid.

Should the proposal be successful, the side would play at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, a ground the Western Sydney Wanderers adopted as their home for Asian Champions League games.

Football Federation Australia recently announced two new teams would enter the competition in the 2019/2020, with criteria for those seeking entry into the new competition to be released in the next few weeks.

Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic – a self-confessed world game and Sydney FC fan – said plans were coming along nicely.

“We’re in the process of finalising the bid and getting people on board (as partners),” he said.

“But I can’t go into the ins and outs because of commercial confidentiality. We are leading the bid but it’s a model that will include partners, or possible partners.

“I wouldn’t say I’m confident but I am positive. We will have a very appealing bid and like any process we just hope for the best.”

One of the big selling points for the South West Sydney Football Bid is Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Located a stone’s throw away from Leumeah Train Station, the 20,000-capacity ground could easily accommodate an A-League side and its fans.

“Some of the other bids don’t even have a stadium so we are already ahead of the game by having a very good facility,” Cr Brticevic said.

Predicted population growth in Macarthur is another point of difference.

More than 500,000 people are expected to call the region home in 2036. With the Wests Tigers reducing their footprint and the number of games played at the stadium each year – three in 2018 – the door is ajar for soccer to swoop in and expand its supporter base.

“We already have over 11,000 players registered in Macarthur,” Cr Brticevic said.

“(The FFA) appreciates the south west of Sydney is the epi-centre for future growth.”

The biggest hurdle, for Cr Brticevic anyway, may come from within the four walls of his home.

Should the bid be successful, he will may be forced to choose between his love for Sydney FC and his support for the local side.

“My daughter would be devastated (if I switched allegiances). But you can always support two teams,” he said.