A vision to bring A-League football to the west is a step closer to reality.
Western Melbourne Group Holdings has officially launched its bid for one of the A-League’s new licences.
It has done so with a dream of bringing a professional A-League club to the western suburbs.
The bid team, made up of Maurice Bisetto, Steve Horvat, Lou Sticca, Tania Orr and Andrew Zinni, has worked hand-in-hand with the Wyndham Council over the past 12 months to bring the expression of interest to life.
It is a significant day for the Wyndham community, with land at 1160 Sayers Road in Tarneit, earmarked as a future home of an A-League expansion team, should the bid be successful.
Western Melbourne Group would build a state-of-the-art 15,000 seat stadium on land provided by the Wyndham Council.
It would be part of a bigger sports precinct with the purpose-built soccer stadium being the main attraction.
Speaking at the bid launch at Tarneit United Soccer Club on Friday, Bisetto, a partner at KPMG and leader of the Western Melbourne Group bid, made it official.
“We’re here today to officially launch our bid for an A-League licence and to bring an A-League team to the west of Melbourne,” he said.
“This is truly a momentous occasion for Australian football in Wyndham and the entire Western Melbourne region.
“The vision from day one was to have an A-League team in the west.
“The dream was to have this team play in its own stadium, a world class facility that football fans can call home.
“Thanks to the support from the Wyndham Council, the dream and the vision is now real.”
A fast growing, multi-cultural region, the western suburbs would be a perfect location for an A-League team.
Due to its proximity, the team would not only draw supporters from Wyndham, but also neighboring councils such as Melton, Hobsons Bay, Brimbank and Maribyrnong, and as far away as Geelong and Ballarat.
Bisetto wants the Western Melbourne Group to be able to add to the rich football history that exists in the west.
“Our ownership and bid team are football people,” he said.
“Their decisions will be made for the best of the football community.
“We’re not here to claim that we own the past and the history, our commitment to the football family is to continue to grow that history.
“To build for the future of our beautiful game in one of the fastest growing regions in our country.”
Councillor Peter Maynard, the Wyndham mayor, was on hand to confirm the Wyndham Council’s support for the bid.
If the bid is successful, he declared it had the potential to be “a game changer for our city”.
“What a great day for Wyndham, what a great day for soccer and what a great day for a bid to have this type of facility in this city,” he said.
“Being one of the fastest growing cities in Australia makes Wyndham the perfect place to become a home to a new A-League soccer team.
“We have the population, we have the support, we have the land and Wyndham is ready.”
Maynard was excited about the wide ranging benefits for the region that would come with having an A-League team.
It is the all-round vision for the parcel of land that prompted the Wyndham Council to back the bid.
“Wyndham Council’s in-principle support for this bid is demonstrated by a provision of land to see this dream become a reality,” Maynard said.
“As a portfolio holder for sports development in our city, I am particularly excited by this proposal as Wyndham will become a destination for the world game.
“The value of this land made development for our community will also come through economic uplift and job creation as well as co-location of a university offering as part of the sports science precinct and sports centre of excellence.
“The first step in achieving this vision for our city is through the Western Melbourne bid, securing one of the new A-League licences available.
“I encourage soccer fans from across the west and Wyndham residents to get behind the bid and highlight why a new Western Melbourne soccer team is just what the game needs.”