Bring on the footy and the Wanderers are here to stay

It is the the time of year when the summer sports are winding down and your thoughts and attention starts to turn toward the winter codes.

And as a pure rugby league lover, I must say I have been counting the days to the start of the 2013 NRL season on Thursday, March 7.

The trial games start this weekend and over the next month will continue as the 16 NRL clubs, players and coaches use the games to prepare for the season kick-off.

You can feel the excitement. ZAnd I say bring on the footy.

As I get older, I find the off-seasons seem to be longer and longer.

I have been a league follower since age five, I am now 49, the love of the game grows stronger.

And as a Dragons supporter  I cannot wait to see them back in action this season.

I enjoy cricket and horse racing and AFL, but rugby league is No.1. Always has been and always will be It has a special place in my heart.

But I must say I have enjoyed watching some A-League games throughout the summer and have become a fan of the Western Sydney Wanderers.

When Football Federation Australia announced they were putting together a new team last April for the 2012/13 season I have to admit I thought they should have have waited one more year for the 2013/14 season to get things ready.

Then the club got his name, Western Sydney Wanderers, their identity and they have hit the ground running.

The FFA must be given full credit for making the Wanderers such a smooth running organisation.

The crowd support has been amazing. The people and soccer lovers of Western Sydney have got right behind the new team. It is very much their team and representative of the local communities.

Home games at Parramatta Stadium have been well attended by their legion of fans, proudly wearing their colours generating a passion and excitement not seen for many years.

And the Wanderers players, management and coaching staff have quickly established a special team culture, which I believe is very much the foundation of its success this season.

They play as a team and the old saying a champion team will always beat a team of champions rings true.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic deserves full praise for moulding a group of players into such a cohesive and combative unit.

The players have taken ownership of what they do on and off the field.

No individual is bigger than the team or the club.

A hard work ethic, a doing your best mentality and giving it 100 per cent each game has catapulted the Wanderers into the top six.

They deserve to make the finals.

In my eyes this is what makes sport tick, being part of a team, doing your best for your mate and being him or her right in the eye knowing you gave your best. 

The story Bring on the footy and the Wanderers are here to stay first appeared on South West Advertiser.

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