Community has its say on Macarthur South West United's future

Hundreds of soccer enthusiasts joined together in Campbelltown on Thursday night to have their say on the south-west's new A-League team.

Campbelltown Catholic Club's The Cube was filled almost to capacity for the Macarthur South West United's inaugural community forum.

A panel of experts gave the audience an insight into the club which will join the Hyundai A-League in the 2020/21 season, while residents had a chance to ask questions about the new venture.

The panel consisted of Macarthur South West United deputy chairman Gino Marra, former Socceroo Brett Emerton, club director Sam Krslovic, and the bid's financial backer, Walker Corporation executive chairman Lang Walker.

All four men spoke about the importance of investing in the Macarthur and south-west Sydney's community, and developing the region's youth.

Mr Marra said soccer was in south-west Sydney's "DNA".

"Our goal is to become one club, one voice, one community," he said.

"With your [residents'] input, we'll take our time to get this foundation right.

"We also have seven NPL [National Premier League] clubs in our region and we need to work closely with them."

Mr Emerton, who is the bid's ambassador, said the club needed to invest in supporting the region's youth.

"I see youth development as being very important for this club," he said.

"We need to give youth an elite pathway to the top…. we want to keep talented kids on our doorstep.

"We want to be a football club that the community can be part of, and be proud of."

Mr Krslovic agreed and said the club wanted to generate a good culture through running youth development programs.

"We can't guarantee kids will become an elite player, but we guarantee that they will come out of our program as a better person," he said.

Mr Walker spoke about the importance to support and develop local children and grassroots clubs.

"It's all about getting our foundations right… this is not a short-term club," he said.

Soccer enthusiasts travelled from as far as Bankstown and Fairfield for Thursday night's forum.

The floor was opened to the audience by event emcee, Fox Sports commentator Daniel Garb.

Topics covered included ticket prices (answer: looking to make affordable), the club's recruitment process (establishing a database of potential players) and plans for a women's team (seen as a future priority). 

Mr Marra closed the event by encouraging residents to participate in the club's community engagement survey.

The online survey allows people to give feedback on the club's potential name, colours and mascot.

Mr Marra said further community forums would be held across south-west Sydney in the coming months.