Events & Tourism

Sydney FC to play pre-season games in Wagga Wagga

Published: 10 Jul 2019 12:20pm

Wagga is geared up to host more top flight Australian footballers this year following a partnership with Sydney FC to play Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League pre-season games in the city.

Wagga City Council resolved at its Monday 8 July Ordinary Meeting to enter into an agreement with Sydney FC to play a W-League (women) pre-season game later year and an A-League (men) pre-trial next year.

Both matches are expected to be against Newcastle Jets at McDonald’s Park – the same ground which hosted more than 10,000 fans at the highly-successful NRL Raiders-Penrith match in Wagga earlier this year.

The partnership with the A-League and W-League’s most successful club has the potential to be part of a longer-term contract with Sydney FC that would see men’s and women’s matches played in Wagga in alternate years.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Cr Greg Conkey OAM said the agreement further enhanced the city’s reputation as a regional capital capable of hosting the big-name clubs in Australian sport.

“This is a fantastic announcement for Wagga Wagga and all football supporters across the Riverina,” Cr Conkey said.

“It’s great to secure the W-League match this year on the back of the recent World Cup which again lifted the profile of the Matildas and women’s football.

“The chance to potentially see Sydney FC’s international representatives right here in Wagga is sure to generate plenty of interest in this fixture.

“To have clubs such as Canberra Raiders and now Sydney FC knocking on Wagga’s door wanting to play games here is a huge coup for the city.”

Sydney FC players and staff will assist Football Wagga Wagga in the delivery of a juniors’ clinic leading up to the matches.

FWW president Tony Dobbin said getting a club the calibre of Sydney FC to Wagga was a substantial boost to the code in the region.

“Sydney FC is the most successful club in the history of the competition, having won 18 trophies across the A-League, the W-League and National Youth League and FFA Cup competition,” Mr Dobbin said.

“It’s an exciting time for football in Wagga, there’s a lot happening. The popularity of football continues to grow and our game can leverage these top level games to keep building the sport’s profile, particularly at the grassroots level.

“Both Sydney FC’s men’s and women’s teams are the league’s defending champions … it doesn’t get much better than that. Having W- League here in Wagga reflects the high level of female interest and participation in our sport locally , regionally and at state and national levels.”

Sydney FC Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend said the club had developed a very strong relationship with the people of Wagga Wagga and the Riverina over a number of years through holiday clinics and training courses.

“It is a fantastic area with a real passion for football so we are delighted to be taking both of our Championship winning sides to play pre-season games there,” Mr Townsend said.

“I hope as many people as possible come out and enjoy the occasions and help to continue our developing relationship with the area.”