2021 in review at Western United

As the book closes on 2021, now is the perfect opportunity to look back on the year at Western United and celebrate the highs and lows of the last 12 months.

After a memorable inaugural A-League Men’s season, Western United headed into its second season in 2021 with optimism.

While the season didn’t quite end as planned, there were a number of major achievements for the Club in 2021 both on and off the pitch.

United continued its strong relationships with Geelong and Ballarat by playing home matches in both areas this year, but also began a fantastic partnership with Tasmania, engaging the community in a ‘Festival of Football’ in April and expanding the United supporter base further. It’s safe to say that Tassie is Green and Black.

As well as a great win and a draw in the A-League Men’s matches, the trip to Tasmania brought a fantastic opportunity to promote the Club’s efforts in women’s football, with the Calder United senior women’s side taking on and defeating a Tasmanian select XI at UTAS Stadium.

Western United continues to highly value its partnership with Calder United and celebrated the club’s fourth consecutive Nike F.C. Cup win in December with a dominant 3-0 win over South Melbourne.

United’s commitment to women’s football will only grow further with an A-League Women’s licence set to come in next year, after the Club submitted a formal application in July this year, which was approved in September.

Ahead of that taking shape, Calder United seniors coach Mark Torcaso has also led the Western United Women’s Development Program, an elite training program designed at preparing the Club for the professional women’s game.

Western United has always strived to be more than just an A-League Men’s team, and the growth of the club gave birth to an inaugural NPL side in 2021.

Although the season was never completed, the Western United Academy saw huge success, with the senior NPL3 team sitting in third place through 14 games – just one point off top spot – and seeing the likes of Adisu Bayew, Ajak Deu, Rhys Bozinovski and Ben Collins sign their first professional contracts.

John Aloisi officially took over as Western United Head Coach in July and has already overseen some major milestones at the Club.

In early November, United finally got the chance to take part in the FFA Cup, beating Newcastle Jets 2-1 in a Play-Off match at GMHBA Stadium.

And just a month later as the Isuzu UTE A-League Men season began, Aloisi engineered a club-record four-match winning streak, with Connor Pain’s strike in a 1-0 win over Adelaide United securing the milestone.

That has United sitting in third place on the table heading into 2022, with this the Club’s best ever start to a league campaign.

Off the pitch, it has been an equally exciting 2021 for Western United, with two particularly major achievements both coming in quick succession in December.

Just after the beginning of the new season, the Club announced the commencement of early works on the Wyndham City Stadium precinct, the first of many big steps to come as the facilities continue to be brought to life.

After months of work behind the scenes, the beginning of the haul road construction marked a landmark moment in the Club’s young history, and there will be much more excitement to come.

And the following week, Western United announced that it had reached a membership record, surpassing eight thousand loyal members with representation across every single postcode in the West. 

As well as all of that, the club also celebrated its two Olympians in Dylan Pierias and Lachie Wales – who scored a memorable goal against Argentina – and joined in an exciting partnership with Essendon Football Club to commence training and club operations at the Bombers’ Hangar facility.

Without United’s passionate supporters staying behind the Club all the way throughout this year, none of these achievements would have ever been possible.

United also welcomed new and existing partners throughout 2021, with special thanks to Principal Partner Simonds Homes as well as Wyndham City, Victoria University Polytechnic, Werribee & Western Automotive Group, Happsa Group and so many others. Western United is increasingly grateful for the support from each and every one of its partners.

As the Club moves ahead into its third full year, more milestones, more achievements and more landmark moments will continue to be ticked off.

From everyone at Western United, we thank members, supporters and the wider football community for all the support throughout 2021 and wish everyone a safe and happy New Year’s period.

Attention turns to what will undoubtedly be an equally exciting 2022, and we will continue to work hard to build this club, this family for everyone in the West, and we look forward to more people joining the journey with us.