Young kids are queuing to join local soccer clubs in the wake of Wanderers’ A-League minor premiership.
Many clubs are reporting an increase in registration numbers compared to last year, some even gaining an extra one hundred members.
Wayne Madden, the Quakers Hill Tigers secretary said, “We’ve had a big increase, we’re up about 20% from last year.” Wayne Madden, the Quakers Hill Tigers secretary reported. Madden also noted the previous season’s total of 542, to a current running total of 660.
One of the largest clubs in the area, Parklea F.C, has also reported a large increase in club registration numbers. “We’re ahead compared to last year. We’re projecting we’ll hit over 900 members, after reaching 850 members in the 2012 season,” Trevor Williams, secretary of Parklea F.C said.
Jack Taylor of the Blacktown and Districts Soccer and Football Association confirmed the increase in total players across the district, “Compared to this time last year, our numbers are ahead. There’s still another three or four weeks, so that number could surge ahead.”
Other clubs recording an increase include Quakers Hill Football/Soccer Club and Lourdes Football Club in Seven Hills.
The Western Sydney Wanderers debuted in the current 2012-2013 A-League season. The Football Federation of Australia held supporter forums, where fans were able to voice their opinions what they wanted in their team. These forums ultimately formed the team, such as team colours, stadium and play style.
“There’s quite a few first-year players that run around in Wanderers gear,” Josh Brazell, 19, a Lourdes F.C player observed. “I go to a few home games and the Wanderers provided the spark that Western Sydney soccer needed to compete in the rugby league heartland. They have programs that allow them to visit and engage with the junior clubs.”
The team holds holiday clinics, junior club and school visits and sponsors the Wanderers Schools Cup. They also have Wanderers FC Ambassadors in schools, where they can meet with team staff to let them know how the team can support their school.
Wanderers fans regularly fill up more than 59% of Parramatta Stadium, averaging 12,466 supporters and recently filled up 19,585 out of 21,500 seats to see their team face cross-city rivals Sydney F.C.