Work to begin at the Wyndham Training Precinct

Media release from Wyndham City Council.

Construction is set to begin at Wyndham’s future home of Western United Football Club!

Wyndham Council last night approved the Development Plan for the Regional Football Facility which will also be a state-of-the-art Training Precinct, which includes the construction of three soccer pitches and grandstand with a total seating capacity for 5,000 spectators.

It’s the first stage of Wyndham City’s landmark A-League Stadium Project with Western Melbourne Group. The land is owned by Wyndham City and forms part of a public-private partnership agreement with Western Melbourne Group, owners of A-League team Western United.

The land, at 1160 Sayers Road, Tarneit, will be the location of a purpose-built 15,000 seat soccer stadium and mixed-use precinct including sports training facilities, residential, commercial and community facilities.

Wyndham City Mayor and Active City portfolio holder Cr Peter Maynard said: “This is an important step forward in the process of constructing a unique, state-of-the-art sports facility in Wyndham.” “We can now get on with the job of building the training facilities that will be adjacent to the main stadium.”
“Large projects such as this are significant for a city like Wyndham. As we continue our Covid recovery, we’re working hard to ensure our local economy bounces back and this project will provide jobs and create a fantastic new community asset.”

According to an economic impact assessment, the Wyndham Stadium development will provide 835 jobs during the construction phase and 125 ongoing permanent roles once it is fully operational.

“We also anticipate that when complete, the Wyndham Stadium development will attract about five million visitors to the Stadium over 20 years, generating non-stadium visitor spending and supporting local business, including those in Riverdale Town Centre,” Cr Maynard said.

In February 2021, the Minister for Planning approved Amendment C254 to the Wyndham Planning Scheme identifying the Wyndham Stadium Precinct as a project of state significance. The Amendment applied a Special Controls Overlay to the land with an Incorporated Document providing a framework guiding the future use and development of the land.

In January 2022, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
approved the concept Master Plan for the Wyndham Stadium Precinct. The Regional Football Facility Development Plan approved last night is the first stage of that development. The Regional Football Facility will comprise a two-storey building located centrally between the training pitch and stadium pitch.
The pavilion will comprise of a range of training and gym facilities, function and media spaces and will include change rooms, staff facilities, kiosks, public toilets and first aid room. Both the main and training turf pitches will be occupied by Western United Football Club throughout the year, with a short off-season period between around May and July.

It is anticipated that up to 12 Women’s A-League games may be played during the season between October and March, with average attendance of around 1,200-1,500 spectators, peaking at 3,000-5,000 for derbies and finals. The third pitch proposed for the site is to be a synthetic turf field located in the southern end of the site. This high-use pitch will support academy and community engagement undertaken by Western United FC.

“It is anticipated that the synthetic pitch will be used predominantly on weekends for matches and during weekday afternoons and evenings for training and clinics. It may also be used intermittently during weekdays for school matches or tournaments,” Cr Maynard said. The main (stadium) and training turf pitches will be used throughout the week for training. The proposed development will be completed by May 2023.


Western Melbourne Group ready to turn soil

In the week commencing 25 October 2021,

early works on the site at Leakes Road, Tarneit (600m west of the Leakes Rd and Sewells Rd intersection) will commence.

The early works will commence with building of the site’s haul road to create access to the stadium site for construction vehicles, as well as upgrades to Leakes Road and construction of the interim Ison Road.

The early works can proceed while the stadium and the surrounding precinct’s Concept Master Plan – which was submitted to the state government in July – is being approved.

Due to various factors pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, refreshed timeframes have been established for the project.

WMG Chairman Jason Sourasis said:

“We thank all of our stakeholders, members and fans for their unwavering support as we continue to work hard on delivering a world-class precinct.

Over the past two pandemic affected years, the club has grown enormously to not only field an A-League team but to include a youth academy with two teams playing in the Victorian NPL, securing a W-League licence for the 2022/23 season, the establishment of a women’s development program, as well as Frame Football and Powerchair teams.

“Whilst the planning process has taken longer than we had hoped, it is vitally important we get the masterplan for the whole precinct right from the start.

The precinct will allow for the continued growth of our sporting organisation as we expand our academies and pathways further, as well as building a sporting centrepiece for the rapidly growing population in the west of Melbourne.

This project will shift the professional sporting landscape, as it is the first of its kind in our country. In addition to the sporting legacy, our project gives the west of Melbourne a social and economic boost, which is much needed in these challenging times,” Sourasis concluded.


Wyndham City Stadium receives planning amendment approval

One step closer.

The planning approval allows detailed design of the stadium and development to be finalised and construction timelines to be determined.

Wyndham City Stadium is set to be the home of Western United Football Club, the A-League team representing the people of Melbourne and Victoria’s west.

The development will be the first major sports stadium owned by a professional football club in Australia.

The stadium will be the centrepiece of a broader development that links sports, commercial and residential precincts.

The development, being undertaken by Western Melbourne Group and Wyndham City Council, will turn approximately 70ha of land in Tarneit into a mixed-use precinct comprising of sport, entertainment, commercial, residential and community uses.

“Today’s announcement is a huge milestone and is a significant step towards the vision for a world class sport, entertainment, business and living precinct within Melbourne’s West,” said Western Melbourne Group Chairman, Jason Sourasis.

“The planning approval signals the official start to the project and means construction on the stadium can commence by mid-2021 and should be ready in time for the Women’s World Cup in 2023.

“We could not have achieved this milestone without the amazing support from Kate Roffey and her team at Wyndham City Council, as well as our state government representatives, in particular, Sarah Connolly.

“Finally, we would like to thank our passionate and dedicated supporters. The football family and the community of the west have been behind us since day one and their belief and energy have truly been felt throughout this whole project,” concluded Sourasis.

Wyndham City Mayor, Cr Adele Hegedich, said the stadium and training facility will provide widespread infrastructure, economic and community benefits to Wyndham and beyond.

“This is an exciting project for Wyndham,” Cr Hegedich said. “The planning approval means we can now get on with the job and start preparing to construct the main stadium and elite sports training facility.

“Large projects such as this are significant for a city like Wyndham. As we continue our Covid recovery, we’re working hard to ensure our local economy bounces back and this project will provide jobs and create a fantastic new community asset.”

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) Commissioner, Greg O’Rourke, also welcomed the news of planning approval.

“The construction of a purpose-built stadium was a key part of Western United’s long-term vision for the football club, and today’s announcement marks an important milestone in realising that vision.

“Stadiums play a big part in creating the unique atmosphere that the Australian Professional Leagues are known for, and we are all looking forward to seeing this project progress.”

Western United Football Club is in its second year in the A-League, with their inaugural season in 2020 seeing them reach the preliminary finals.

The club have also partnered with women’s Calder United Soccer Club and have signalled their intention to field a W-League team in the 2021/2022 season.

The junior pathways of the club have also developed with the creation of two National Premier League sides set to join the competition this year.

If you want to be part of the Western United family, memberships are on sale now for as little as $37.

Join the family here.


WUFC Announce New Elite Training Facility

It doesn't stop at a stadium.

Western Melbourne Group isn’t just stopping at a stadium with their new project, as the new development will also include an elite training facility with three pitches (two grass and one synthetic) and seating for an audience of 5,000. The jointly funded development, including help from Wyndham council, will be the main training ground for Western United Football Club, as well as future W-League and girls and boys academy teams on the main grass pitch. The other two pitches will be for the community surrounding the area, truly building on the “United” of the team’s name. With the rise in demand for community football spaces thanks to the unprecedented growth in popularity and participation of the game, Western United Football Club is determined to build a unique world-class football stadium and sporting precinct as part of their commitment to the community.

Growing this training precinct will be a huge step in the right direction for Australian football, giving a brand new area for the sport to grow and thrive and giving kids the chance to train right next to their sporting heroes. Wyndham City will be the new focal point for sports in the West, as not only can the pitches be used for soccer, but also rugby league and union which is a big deal for the fastest growing population region in Australia.

As well as sporting facilities, there is also a plan for a university offering as a part of the sports science precinct and sports centre of excellence to create more educational opportunities for the residents of Wyndham.

All of the site investigations have been completed and the concept masterplan has been submitted for approval. Construction is expected to start in early 2021, with plans for it to be fully completed in 2023, so watch this space.


WUFC Stadium Reaches Major Milestone

Stadium Update.

It was known from the start that the plans for Western United’s brand new stadium would take time and although the team are still playing their home matches at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong and Mars Stadium in Ballarat, things are far from lying dormant in Tarneit, Wyndham.

The critical areas that have needed development before any construction can begin have now been completed, which means moving forward with the 15,000 seat stadium can truly begin by getting planning permissions and work permits. The project is really starting to gain momentum and it won’t be long before the exciting project becomes a reality for football fans and Wyndham City residents alike.

The privately-funded stadium was one of the main reasons why Western Melbourne Group won their bid for a place in the A-League, so it’s a big moment to see the project officially taking shape. Eventually, this development will be a world-class facility that fans can really call the home of Western United and be able to enjoy the unique experience much closer to home. Of course, it’s all about the atmosphere during games and the future plans for the space bear this in mind, making sure seats are closer to the field and with a steeper rake so that you can see perfectly even from the top.

This stadium won’t just be a game-changer for football, but for Australian sport as a whole. It’s the first public-private sports facility in the country and will also have commercial and residential connections to really develop Wyndham City and create an elite training precinct.

It doesn’t stop there though, with plans in place to include a sports science treatment centre and some research institutes to benefit both the community and the industry.

In June 2018, the Wyndham Mayor, Cr Peter Maynard said: “the value of this landmark deal for our community will be massive, positioning us as a destination of choice, and putting us on the national and international sporting stage.”

Like any project of this size, there will be challenges, but the team behind it are confident that they’ll be ready to build next year.


Western United FC Season 1 Begins

It’s almost time

for Western United’s inaugural season in the Hyundai A-League, with Mark Rudan as head coach assembling an impressive team of skilled and experienced players.

The club’s first-ever captain is Alessandro Diamanti, a former Italian international forward with exceptional leadership qualities.

Diamanti has played at the highest level in both club and country so is sure to bring incredible experience to the team. He has also played in the English Premier League for West Ham, has won 17 caps for Italy and was part of their team for the 2012 European Championships.

Other players that have joined the team for their first season include Andrew Durante, arguably one of the most reliable defenders in the A-League and Panagiotis Kone, a Greek midfielder who played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The WUFC team is also welcoming Caltex Socceroo Josh Risdon, who made his debut for Perth Glory in 2010 and has since made 170 A-League appearances. They’ve also added the league’s all-time top scorer Besart Berisha to the team to create a powerful, and hopefully unstoppable, force. The full squad is now ready for action in what is sure to be an interesting match against Wellington Phoenix, with Marc Rudan returning to Wellington after leaving them halfway through his contract to join United.

The historic first game will take place on Sunday, October 13th, away to Wellington Phoenix.

The first home game is on Saturday, October 19th against reigning Premiers Perth Glory.


Western United FC Branding and Jersey Design Revealed

The big reveal is finally here.

The big reveal is finally here. The branding and jersey design for Western United Football Club has finally been revealed for their inaugural season in the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League, starting in October.

The Home Kappa kit features a traditional vertical green and black stripe with a modern shieldless club emblem, whilst the new Away kit is designed with a powerful and unique geometric design which is inspired by the green wedge from within the new club logo.

The geometric motif is also based on the West pointer from a 4-point compass and therefore shows that no matter where the team plays, their heart will always be in the West. The green colour symbolises the evergreen communities which are currently growing in the West.

Kappa has said, “our partnership with WUFC represents a fantastic opportunity for Kappa Australia to enter a thriving Australian football market and we can’t wait to showcase the next phase of products which include an exciting range of on-and off-field merchandise that we’ll be releasing to fans soon.”

The brand new logo focuses on the “W” of WUFC, emphasising the pride of their home in the West of Melbourne and Victoria. Melbourne-based design agency The Township took on feedback from fans extensively with the design, making sure their voices were heard in the development of both the kit and the logo. Ultimately, they decided to break away from conventional designs with a logo that isn’t encased in either a crest or a shield and instead exudes confidence as a standalone letter. The point of the logo is to break free from tradition; this is a brand new team after all.

The logo design is also inspired by the rooftops of Australia’s fastest-growing corridor and gives a nod to the iconic West Gate Bridge; the gateway to the West.

Of course, this is a new team so their branding can’t be created from legacy, and so is instead built on pride and love for the West. This branding therefore represents their contemporary approach both on and off the pitch with a bold and modern design. WUFC will give the football community of the West a strong (fresh) identity and the opportunity to combine grassroots football with the elite game as we know it today.

Even the name of the team takes this into account, as the choice to be Western United Football Club stems from the united and progressive fanbase with a shared vision.

WUFC will join the Hyundai A-League at the beginning of the 2019/20 season in October of this year.


WMG Wins Bid for New A-League Licence

Western United FC Is Born.

Months of speculation and plans have finally come to fruition this week, with Western Melbourne Group being announced by Football Federation Australia as the winner of the A-League Competition licence, beating Sydney’s Southern Expansion and Melbourne’s Team 11 for the place.

The news will see history, with WMG promising to build a 15,000 seat stadium and connecting training, commercial and residential complex. Part of the reason this bid was so successful is that the stadium will be privately funded, rather than relying on government funding; the Group had said from the start that it would not be seeking public investment to develop the stadium and precinct in Wyndham.

This stadium will eventually sit 25km west of Melbourne, and the plans are to make it a home for football, as seen with Anfield and Old Trafford, rather than simply a place to play. Seats will be as close to the pitch as possible for intimacy and the rake will be steeper for the best atmosphere possible amongst fans. There’s also big plans for the club’s name, badge and colours to be decided by fans which adds to the fan and football connection that has been so popular so far.

Arguably the winning bid was decided mostly because of the stadium promise, but the fact that the development will be fully owned by the team is also significant for the league because it will be the first of its kind in Australia. Plus, the precinct will be situated in the growth corridor of Western Melbourne, stimulating economic development for the area, which is the fastest growing population region in Australia.

Football Federation Australia Chairman, Chris Nikou, has said that “the prospect of a facility owned by football for football will be a significant new milestone for the game in Australia” and that they “are excited by the prospect of such a facility in Melbourne”.

Lou Sticca, managing director of Tribal Sports Group and a former Socceroos Steve Horvat and Andrew Zinni, were all heavily involved in the bid, bringing their extensive football knowledge to the proposal. The combination of a promise of a privately-funded stadium and strong football knowledge behind the bid is what got it over the line.

No official players have been announced yet, although Sticca has guaranteed that if they won, a world-class player will join for their first season.

Western Melbourne Group says they could not have done it without Wyndham City Council and their support as the future home of the team.

Of course, they also said the fans in Western Melbourne played a huge role in their winning bid, allowing their dream to grow and eventually become a reality – Football is about the fans, after all.

This A-League expansion offers new growth for Australian football, tapping into the new market of Western Melbourne, with the chance to bring fresh fans and life to the league.


WMG Joins Bid for New A-League Licence

It's an extremely exciting time for football,

with Western Melbourne Group joining the bid for a new A-League licence alongside fourteen other hopeful teams. The Football Federation Australia will eventually only accept one team from this bidding phase, as part of their plans to expand the A-League to twelve teams for the 2019-20 season, with one more for the 2020-21 season.

The A-League expansion announcement was made back in February, and will be a boost that’s badly needed for football in Australia, although it will be a slow drip with the two new teams being staggered over two seasons.

Each team has laid out big plans to join the league, including their unique selling points, financial capacity and ideas around engaging fans which will be extremely important as a brand new team. Western Melbourne Group is one of four hopefuls for Victoria, as well as Team 11, South Melbourne and Belgravia Leisure.

This expansion will hopefully also see clubs being allowed more say in how the league is run and provide even more investment opportunities for the teams.

The plan is that this will in turn increase the audience for the A-League, with more game attendance and TV audiences, marketing the league as something fresh, new and exciting. It will also give even more opportunities for Australian football players and create more (friendly) rivalries and build up excitement around the game.

Football Federation Australia Chairman, Chris Nikou, said that the level of interest in joining the A-League from groups shows the massive potential for the game in Australia.

The winning team will hopefully be announced at the end of this year.