Winning bid profile: Macarthur South West Sydney
Macarthur South West Sydney want to make former Caltex Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak one of their first signings after being named one of two new Hyundai A-League expansion clubs.
The Macarthur South West Sydney bid, along with Western Melbourne, were confirmed as the two new clubs to enter the competition over the next two seasons.
While Western Melbourne will join the competition next season (2019/20), Macarthur South West Sydney have been given an extra 12 months to be ready for the 2020/21 campaign.
And they hope to have inspirational ex-Caltex Socceroos midfielder Jedinak as a marquee player for their debut campaign.
“Mile and I go back a long way. The chances of him coming back are strengthened by this bid,” Macarthur South West Sydney director Sam Krslovic said.
“He’s out of contract [at Aston Villa] at the end of June, so we’re allowed to discuss with him post January. We’ll have a discussion and see where he fits.”
While Jedinak would be 36 by the time Macarthur South West Sydney would play their first Hyundai A-League match, Krslovic said he “ticks all the boxes” for the new club.
“[Jedinak] grew up in the area, he played in the area, he’s from the area, he captained the Socceroos, won the Asian Cup as captain and went to World Cups,” he said.
“He would set what the club is about. We’re about giving local players an opportunity, people from the area something to aspire to, both men and women.”
It’s a philosophy the club will also follow when it comes to appointing their inaugural coach.
Krslovic said the new franchise were hoping to appoint a coach as soon as possible and declared they would not appoint a foreigner.
“We are an Australian team, based on Australian values so the coach will be Australian,” he said.
“We’d like to think it’s someone who comes from the area, who grew up in the area, played in the area and understands the DNA of the demographic of the area.
“People might think that’s a very small subset but it’s a large subset. We have a number of options…and all are experienced in the A-League.”
The club confirmed they will play their home matches at Campbelltown Stadium, with plans to revamp the venue and its surrounding areas over the next five years.
The name of the new club and their colours will be put to a community forum, with a decision to be made “in the next few weeks.”
Why Macarthur South West Sydney?
The region covers a huge growth corridor in New South Wales, with the combined region of Macarthur South West Sydney expected to have an estimated two million residents by 2035.
The area already boasts over 24,000 registered players along with 3600 National Premier League footballers.
"Macarthur South West is a region with a rich football history that when blended with a fast-growing demography creates an exciting future for the game," FFA CEO David Gallop said.
"A ready-made rectangular stadium will also deliver an enjoyable match day experience for fans.
"Both of the new teams will start their life in the Hyundai A-League in grounds that will allow us and our broadcast partners to present the league in the best possible way and at high-quality venues."