Western United’s players are converting the West with their charisma and passion to engage with the whole West.
Just ask one local family the Mckernans.
For them, it’s been a revelation as they’ve become immersed in the passion of being Green and Black fans.
The Mckernans – a sports-loving family in Geelong’s northern suburbs – are just one of many who have been attracted to the family-feel of the Green and Black.
And it was sparked by one of the most simple things.
Last September, Gena Mckernan and her son Sam met three Western United players. That’s it.
“We started following Western United after we met three wonderful players [Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Alessandro Diamanti and Apostolos Stamatelopoulos] at our local end of season junior carnival,” Gena told www.wufc.com.au.
“The three players and staff in attendance were so friendly with Sam and all the local kids and families, so we began following Western United on social media.
“A few weeks later our local junior club was given a great opportunity to participate in the opening of the Western United home game, which Sam took part in.
“From that day on Sam was 100% a committed fan and his love for the club has continued to grow.”
Like many other fans, the Mckernans have had a blast supporting the new team from the West, which is giving fans more choice when it comes to sporting clubs to support.
The Geelong locals enjoy watching the Green and Black in their backyard and appreciate the family culture the players and staff have created.
“I have enjoyed watching Geelong get behind the team and support them. We aren’t just an AFL town anymore,” Gena added.
“I think having a local A-league team is just what the west needed as there is such large soccer [football] community in the area.
“Sam enjoys being able to get up close to meet the players, get photos and their autographs.
“He feels that the club and the players care for their fans because they take time to engage with them.”
It’s hard to stop Sam from smiling when United are involved.
The young fan has met other United stars such as Panagiotis Kone, and has decked himself out in club merchandise.
He also may be leading all A-League fans for player cards owned.
Sam has an entire wall covered in his favourite United players, as well as head coach Mark Rudan.
However, Gena says Sam has had a hard time choosing his absolute favourite.
“It was a hard, hard decision for Sam to pick just one of his favourite players.
“It changes day to day because he thinks they’re all fantastic.
“However he said he’s torn between Jonathan Aspropotamitis, who was the very first player he ever engaged with, or Panagiotis Kone because he’s a great team player who gets the whole team involved.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Western United’s next home game is against Wellington Phoenix in Ballarat on December 28 at Mars Stadium. Kick-off is 5:00 pm.
CLICK HERE to buy tickets.
CLICK HERE to become a Western United member.