The songs, the sound and the colour of “active” supporters continue to make the A-League a thrilling game-day experience for all.
Active supporters, for those new to football, are the fans who stand and sing, chant and cheer all game long.
You can’t miss these raucous and passionate fans.
Across Australia, there is Adelaide United’s “Red Army”, “The Shed” in Perth who follow Glory and Sydney FC’s “Cove”.
Clubs overseas with even longer histories than the A-League, such as Liverpool – with their active supporters in “The Kop”, Borussia Dortmund’s imposing”Yellow Wall” and Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan – are other examples of what a difference these fans can make to not only the players but fans across the entire stadium.
Western United is no exception.
Following the competition’s eleventh licence being awarded to Victoria’s West, the Western Service Crew (WSC) was born.
They’re a group that may not yet match the numbers of other active groups, but match them in passion.
The WSC’s capo, Riccardo Buxton played a major role in the group’s formation. When he heard a team was coming to his area he acted swiftly
“When the word was out that Western United had won the bid, me and a couple friends decided it would be a good idea to create a Facebook group, the WSC,” Buxton told wufc.com.au.
“Within the group we organised meet-ups at local football matches and had scarfs made for Western United active supporters.
“I’ve been heavily involved with building the foundations for the WSC since day one.”
The WSC’s passion has been evident in the first five rounds of the season.
A handful travelled to the club’s first-ever game in Wellington, and they celebrated with the players after the historic first-ever win for the club that day.
And plenty of noise and colour was created at the club’s three subsequent home games at GMHBA Stadium.
But a famous win away to Melbourne Victory will forever be one of Buxton’s most memorable sporting moments.
“Hands down the best feeling I’ve ever felt at a sporting event that I can remember.
“If Marvel [Stadium] wasn’t so strict on pitch invaders, I honestly think everyone would have been on the pitch to celebrate that goal with McDonald.
“The noise from the supporters was just so ear-piercing it was incredible.
“I’ll honestly hold that win close to my heart forever.
“I’ll be telling my little fella when he is a little older of the day when we went 2-0 down in the first 8 minutes to come back and win 3-2 against the ‘famous’ Melbourne Victory.”
— Western United FC (@wufcofficial) November 2, 2019
It’s only in its infancy, but Buxton believes the support from the WSC and other United fans has been amazing so far.
He added that it’s nice knowing that the same passion is felt across the club’s supporters.
“The passion the supporters have towards this club, this early into its life, is something I’ve never been a part of before.
“People can poke fun all they want at the club and the supporters, but we are all people from the west, here for one thing, which is Western United.
“Having the club for our very own only makes it that much more amazing to be a part of.
The group and club can be summed up by one of the WSC’s main chants, “we are all west, aren’t we?”
Buxton has high hopes for the WSC in years to come.
The capo would love to see more numbers join in vocally supporting the Green and Black and believes the group can offer something different to the Australian football landscape.
“I’d personally love to see the WSC triple in numbers by the time we roll into our own gaff [stadium] down in Tarneit.
“We bring something completely different compared to other active supporter groups.
“This is a really big deal to me and I’m honoured to follow Western United win, lose or draw.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Western United’s next home game is at GMHBA Stadium against Newcastle Jets on Saturday, 16 November at 7.30 pm.
CLICK HERE to buy tickets.
CLICK HERE to become a Western United member.