The journey began way back in April 2017, with founder and former Socceroo Steve Horvat holding conversations with Wyndham City Council about bringing a professional football team to the west.
Just over a year later, in 2018, the official bid was placed by Western Melbourne Group. Six months after that the bid was successful and an A-League Men licence was awarded.
From there, the Club had less than a year to prepare for its first professional season, so work quickly got under way.
First signings made as the Green and Black takes to the pitch
Panagiotis Kone became Western United’s first player when he signed for the Club in February 2019, just two weeks before the name and colour announcement which officially turned the West Green and Black.
Josh Risdon became the Club’s first ever Australian signing and Mark Rudan was named as the inaugural head coach ahead of the first training session on July 15, 2019.
Alessandro Diamanti joined soon after and United played its first match on August 22 against Caroline Springs George Cross FC.
Diamanti would later be named the Club’s inaugural captain, and he led the side across the ditch for the first ever A-League Men match in Western United’s history, where Besart Berisha secured the Club’s first win against Wellington Phoenix on October 13.
The Italian became an instant sensation in the A-League Men and won the Johnny Warren Medal as the league’s best player in his first season in the West.
A week after that win over Wellington Phoenix, Western United played its first ever home match. GMHBA Stadium was the venue and Kone the scorer in a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory.
United would play in Geelong, Ballarat and Whitten Oval in Footscray, all contributing to a total of 5,000 members within just six months.
And while the Club’s first season would bring its difficulties with the COVID-19 pandemic and last-ditch attempts to enter New South Wales, Western United rose above to create some stunning memories.
Hub life and finals dreams
Once the season resumed, United won four games in six to reach the finals in its first season, and picked up its first ever win in the finals with a 1-0 triumph over Brisbane Roar.
Unfortunately, the journey stopped at the semi-final stage as United fell short of Melbourne City in the semi-final, but history was made just one season into the journey in the West.
United entered season two with great optimism and had some phenomenal results early on, with a 5-4 win over Perth and a 4-1 win in the first meeting against Macarthur FC helping the Green and Black to a strong start.
Victor Sanchez created one of Western United’s best moments in February 2021, rising to score a last-minute winner in a thrilling 4-3 win over Melbourne Victory, and United would handle Melbourne City just over a month later.
Tasmania becomes Green and Black
April 2021 saw the commencement of an exciting partnership with Tasmania, as Western United brought professional football over the Bass Strait and further deepened its fanbase with a Festival of Football.
A difficult end to the season saw United fall out of the finals places, but greater excitement was set to come ahead of season three.
Partnership with Calder United
In December 2020, Western United struck a partnership with Calder United in the NPLW, a partnership that has continued to flourish ever since.
Through shared resources and expertise to develop junior and high-performance programs, Calder United has become a crucial part of the Western United family and has continued its great success on the pitch.
Calder went on to win its fourth successive NIKE F.C. Cup title and was well placed in NPLW Victoria before COVID-19 forced the community football season into a shutdown.
Western United Academy begins
Western United’s academy set up launched in 2021, with the Club entering Victoria’s NPL3 for the first time with a Senior Under 23’s side and Under 21’s team.
In its first season of competitive matches, Western United was extremely successful on the pitch, sitting in third place on the table after 14 matches, just one point adrift of top spot when the season was abandoned due to COVID-19.
John Aloisi was named the new Western United Head Coach heading into season three, and along with him came a number of new signings including international trio Leo Lacroix, Aleksandar Prijovic and Rene Krhin.
In the midst of the return of professional football, Western United celebrated some exciting milestones off the pitch while the Green and Black saw great improvement on it.
Stadium works begin and membership milestone reached
Early works on the Wyndham City Stadium precinct began in December; a landmark moment in the Club’s history as the vision for an elite sporting facility and surrounding suburb was beginning to come true.
Later that same month, Western United announced a brand-new membership record with over 8,000 members joining the journey in the West, covering off every single postcode in the West of Victoria.
Landmark moment as A-League Women licence confirmed
In early May 2022, it was confirmed that Western United would enter the Liberty A-League Women competition in the upcoming 2022/23 season.
This realised Western United’s vision to make football accessible to everyone in the West and served as a continuation of the Club’s commitment to growing the women’s game.
Following on from the commencement of the Western United Women’s Development Squad program, the Green and Black will enter Australia’s professional women’s competition with ambitions for success straight away.
A remarkable finals campaign
After a record-breaking campaign that included a debut in the FFA Cup, Western United returned to the Finals with a third-placed finish, the highest in the Club’s history.
A nail-biting 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix in the Elimination Final set up a mouth-watering semi-final tie against rivals Melbourne Victory and created one of the most memorable nights in United’s history.
After losing the first leg of the tie 1-0, Aloisi inspired his team to a sensational comeback in the return fixture. Aleksandar Prijovic starred with two goals and an assist, with Lachie Wales and Dylan Wenzel-Halls also scoring in a 4-1 win, seeing the Green and Black into the A-League Men Grand Final for the first time.
Western United wins its first ever A-League Men Championship
May 28, 2022, will forever be remembered in the West.
Western United faced Melbourne City in the showpiece clash at AAMI Park and barely a minute into the game, the raucous Green and Black support was in raptures as United scored the fastest ever Grand Final goal.
Aleksandar Prijovic won the flick on that resulted in an own goal for the opener, and the Serbian smashed United into a 2-0 lead around the half hour mark.
The defensive steel that became Western United’s trademark throughout the season was on full show as the side cruised to a 2-0 final result, becoming the second expansion team to win the Championship and the quickest to do so in the competition’s history.
Prijovic was awarded the Joe Marston Medal as man of the match on the night as the Green and Black party began, bringing a memorable season to the most perfect of conclusions.