Summer is here! And Western United kicks off a summer of A-League football with a top-tier clash against reigning champions Sydney FC this Sunday.
The Green and Black host the Sky Blues at GMHBA (4:00pm KO).
It’s two of this season’s most attractive and successful sides facing off on a Sunday afternoon.
Here are seven reasons why this is a fantastic way to kick off the summer with the Green and Black family.
1: Marvel at United’s marquee star Alessandro Diamanti
He’s United’s diamond with the sweetest left peg. If you never seen the charismatic Italian play, now is a golden opportunity.
Diamanti translates to “Diamonds” in Italiano. And the attacker has sparkled this season. If you haven’t seen “Dia”, he’s worth the entry price alone.
Three Lions fans will remember Western United’s captain as the player who helped knock England out of the 2012 Euros, courtesy of a coolly taken penalty.
English Premier League fans will remember him from his spectacular goals with West Ham United. He’s loved in Italy’s Serie A and China’s Super League.
And A-League fans – especially those in green and black – are seeing a genuine marquee in their midst.
2: Ninkovic AND Diamanti on the same pitch?
For those who might not know, Sydney FC’s version of Diamanti is Serbian World Cup player and A-League royalty, Milos Ninkovic.
The former Dynamo Kyiv favourite actually started against Germany and the Socceroos at the 2010 World Cup, playing in the red of Serbia.
The former A-League player of the season AND Diamanti on the same pitch?
World-class talent comes to town so take the chance to see them both on the same pitch.
3: Internationals all over the park
United has six full internationals, Sydney FC has eight. That’s 14 players who’ve played at the highest level possible in world football
For example, the dashing wingback in green and black Josh Risdon is United’s Socceroo World Cup hero. He caught the eye at the 2018 World Cup for Australia with his energy and incisive play against Peru, Denmark and world champions France.
And at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil Panagiotis Kone – United’s Greek international – was a star with his national team (and who can forget Pana’s debut goal on United’s home deck against Perth Glory earlier this season?).
The attacking midfielder is another absolute top-tier talent you need to see.
4: Besart Berisha: A-League legend in Green and Black
Did you know, the great Berisha has scored in every Grand Final he’s ever played in? He’s also scored almost 120 goals in his time in the A-League with Victory and earlier Brisbane Roar. And he scored the historic first-ever goal for Western United in Round 1.
The fans love his passion and commitment. He has his own songs and fans line up to meet him after every home game. Speaking of which…
5: Meet United stars on the pitch after the match
United wants their family of fans to get up close to their heroes.
So, once the final whistle goes, get yourself on the pitch to grab selfies and signatures with the Green and Black stars.
6: Top six battle
Plenty of incentive for the United boys against the league’s benchmark as we continue to cement our place in the six. This is a huge test and United will be hugely motivated to get back on the winner’s list after a couple of reversals.
In fact, right now, this Sydney team is considered the best in the league after winning the grand final in front of 55,000 in Perth seven months ago. A great test for United who’ll be considered underdogs.
And there’s a strong Sydney FC link. The Green and Black boss Mark Rudan leads the Green and Black with pride but he was once “The Big Blue Man” by Sydney FC fans after he skippered them to grand final success in 2006.
Alongside Steve Corica (current Sydney FC coach) he’s a legend having won the Championship with the Sky Blues as their skipper in 2006. Other former Sydney FC players in the squad include Max Burgess, Aaron Calver, and Andrew Durante.
7: The fans and the atmosphere
Try it once, you’ll be hooked. The colour, the noise, the songs, the drums, the sheer excitement that A-League fans can make – and wait till you see and hear our ‘active’ fans the Western Service Crew. They’re amazing.
Sunday afternoon, 4:00pm, will be A-League football at its very best. See you there.