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From the beginning: Why Geelong is Forever West

Western United is set to return to GMHBA Stadium, with less than a month to go until a blockbuster opening round fixture against Melbourne Victory to kick off the 2021/22 Isuzu UTE A-League Men season.

The Green and Black will arrive in Geelong for the first time since January, kicking off the Club’s third season in the competition.

There have been many memories made in the bay-side region, with a number of Western United’s milestones achieved at GMHBA Stadium and a positive record on the pitch.

Early excitement in Geelong, with mixed results

After a famous win in Wellington in the Club’s debut fixture, United played its first home game in Geelong in October 2019, drawing with Perth Glory.

Panagiotis Kone netted United’s first home goal in front of a roaring home crowd, but things weren’t always easy at GMHBA Stadium.

Defeat to Melbourne City in the next match was followed by a 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers before two more losses in succession, coming at the hands of Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC.

Fortress GMHBA

That loss to Sydney, on December 1 2019, remains the last time Western United lost a home match at GMHBA Stadium, though.

Turning the stadium into a fortress, United thumped Melbourne Victory and disposed of Central Coast Mariners twice, with an aggregate score of 12-3 across the three matches.

The COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately halted the momentum as the league went into a hub in Sydney, and the Club was unable to return to Geelong until December last year.

But it was more of the season after the return, with a 0-0 draw against Adelaide United maintaining the unbeaten run on the opening day of the 2020/21 campaign.

United’s second match at GMHBA Stadium last season resulted in a nine-goal thriller, with Steven Lustica’s 84th minute strike settling a 5-4 win.

That means Western United’s unbeaten run in Geelong stands at five matches and counting, with four wins in that time.

Geelong is Forever West

The home support in Geelong has been exemplary since that opening game against Perth over two years ago, and the Club is eager to welcome supporters back to GMHBA Stadium for another season opener.

Geelong has been a major supporter of the Club and will continue to be a key part of its fabric in years to come.

The GMHBA faithful have repeatedly come out in full voice, and with the return of live sport and a huge clash to open the season, this looms as the most exciting season launch so far.