It’s official – Macarthur has its own A-League team!
Football Federation Australia gave the green light today for Macarthur South West United to become an A-League club.
The new team, based in Campbelltown, will join Australia’s premier soccer competition in the 2020/21 season.
Macarthur South West co-president Gino Marra told the Advertiser he was “extremely excited” about the announcement.
“This is great news for the area. I believe this team will put our region on the map,” he said.
“People really care about football down here and I think it’s just going to grow.
“We are 100 per cent committed to this region – Campbelltown is our home.”
Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic has been a driving force behind the local bid and welcomed today’s announcement.
“I am elated, a great amount of hard work by a lot of people has paid off,” he said.
Cr Brticevic thanked his councillors and sister councils Camden and Wollondilly for supporting the bid.
“Our bid has gone from strength to strength and shows people are very passionate about the sport here,” he said.
The campaign for Macarthur to gets its own A-League team, backed by Campbelltown Council, launched more than one year ago.
South-West Sydney and United for Macarthur were announced in May as two of 10 successful bids from across Australia to progress into the final phase of A-League expansion.
The two bids merged in August to become the Macarthur South West United bid.
Mr Marra said the merger was the “easiest part” of the bidding process.
“It probably should have been there from day one,” he said.
The FFA announced in October that Macarthur South West United was one of six teams to survive the latest A-League culling process.
Macarthur South West, NSW’s Southern Expansion, ACT-based club Canberra and Victoria’s Western Melbourne, Team 11 and South Melbourne also remained in the hunt.
Today (Thursday, December 13), the FFA announced that Western Melbourne and Macarthur South West United were the two successful bids.
Western Melbourne will join the A-League next season (2019/20) while Macarthur South West United will enter the competition in the 2020/21 season.
Mr Marra said it had been a long and tough bidding campaign but very rewarding.
He thanked everyone involved for remaining positive over the past year, particularly the Campbelltown council, Walker Corporation executive chairman Lang Walker and Southern Districts Football Club.
“Everyone said ‘yes’ to suggestions and were really committed to making this work,” Mr Marra said.
Mr Walker, who supported the local bid as a strategic partner, said south-west Sydney was one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.
“It makes sense that this rapidly expanding community should have a football team to call its own,” he said.
“I look forward to continuing to support the club as it prepares to field a team in time for the 2020-2021 season.”
FFA chief executive David Gallop said Macarthur/south-west Sydney region was represented by more than 50 grassroots and National Premier League clubs.
He said the region had a large and diverse population base that would continue to grow.
“Macarthur/south-west is a region with a rich football history that, when blended with a fast-growing demography, creates an exciting future for the game,” Mr Gallop said.
“A ready-made rectangular stadium will also deliver an enjoyable match day experience for fans.”