Macarthur South West United A-League bid gets green light

Home-grown club: Macarthur-South West United bid chairman Gino Marra at Ernie Smith Reserve in Moorebank. Picture: Simon Bennett
Home-grown club: Macarthur-South West United bid chairman Gino Marra at Ernie Smith Reserve in Moorebank. Picture: Simon Bennett

It’s official – the A-League is coming to the south-west.

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 Champion 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.”

The campaign for the south-west to gets its own A-League team launched more than one year ago.

Earlier this year, United for Macarthur and South-West Sydney both officially announced they would make bids to join the A-League.

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.

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said the the decision to grant the licences for 2019/20 and 2020/21 respectively will allow both teams sufficient time to establish operations.

He said South West Macarthur region is represented by more than 50 grassroots and National Premier League Clubs with a large and diverse population base that will 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. A ready-made rectangular stadium will also deliver an enjoyable match day experience for fans,” he said.

FFA chief executive David Gallop said the Macarthur/south-west Sydney region was represented by more than 50 grassroots and National Premier League clubs and 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.”