Around the Grounds: Roar starlet bound for Ghana, Vanstrattan returns to Mariners and a 'game-changer' for Wanderers

Brisbane Roar academy defender Billy Day might still be learning his trade but that doesn’t mean he can’t pass on his football knowledge to others.

And the Redlands College student will get the chance to do exactly that when he travels to Ghana as a volunteer for two weeks in July.

Day, 16, will visit the small African nation as part of the Projects Abroad organisation, which provides students with the chance to volunteer and contribute to communities around the world.

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Itinerary for the trip includes football coaching, classroom discussions on tactics, and also a game with the local senior team.

“I’ve haven't really been overseas before so I’m really excited to get across there,” Day told the club’s official website.

Vanstrattan back home

Local boy Jess Vanstrattan is back at the Central Coast Mariners, joining Alen Stajcic’s staff as the club’s new goalkeeping coach.

The Gosford-born gloveman has signed a three-year deal with the Mariners, taking over from Matt Nash who has replaced John Crawley at Sydney FC.

The 36-year-old, who once played with Serie A club Juventus, started his coaching career at the Mariners in 2014 before stints at Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory.

“It’s good to be coming home,” Vanstrattan told the club's website.

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“I’ve had a few great talks with Alen and he seems really positive about the season ahead.

“I’ve bumped into a few of the players and the reports are all positive, so hopefully we can assemble the strongest squad possible and be really competitive this year.

“I know the Mariners are a family club – one of the reasons for returning home is my wife Gabby who is pregnant with twins, so it’s good for us to be back with our family and friends to ensure that we have the support that we need."

Wanderers unveil new safe standing area

It’s been hailed as a ‘game-changer’ for football fans and the Western Sydney Wanderers are hoping Australia’s first safe standing area will add to the atmosphere at the new Bankwest Stadium.

A group of Wanderers fans tested the newly-installed safe standing section this week ahead of the club’s first match at their new home against Leeds United on July 20.

It will be the first time fans will be able to stand and cheer without having to worry about sitting in a seat.

While only a small section was tested, when fully deployed 1260 seats will be removed from the northern end of Bankwest Stadium and  replaced with rails to accommodate 1260 standing spaces.

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“This is a new beginning for the club,” said Wanderers defender Tarek Elrich.

“The fans, the players the coaches all expect results here and hopefully we can fill the stadium.

“When the fans are out here supporting us we feel that on the pitch and we’d love to see this new active support area packed with the Red and Black."

Tarek Elrich at Bankwest Stadium with some Wanderers fans
Tarek Elrich in the Wanderers' newly installed safe standing area

Fowler’s Roar tenure to begin in Logan

There’s just over a week until Brisbane Roar’s squad begin life under new boss and Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler.

Roar begin pre-season training at the club’s state-of-the-art City of Logan facility on Monday, July 1.

And they won’t have to wait long to play their first matches under their new coach, with the Roar to play their first two friendly matches of the pre-season campaign later that month.

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Roar will host Queensland NPL outfits Redlands United (Saturday, June 13) and Brisbane City (Saturday, June 20) at Logan Metro Sports Park.

Both matches will kick-off at 3pm.

Fowler will then take his squad to Gladstone for a week-long pre-season camp, with a match against a Gladstone Select side at Marley Brown Oval on Saturday, 27 July.

Roar have yet to make a new signing for the 2019/20 campaign although are expected to start bolstering their squad prior to the return to training next month.

Roar boss Robbie Fowler will get down to work with his players on July 1