Western United and Essendon Football Club in landmark facilities partnership

Western United has strengthened its connection to the west, partnering with Essendon Football Club in a landmark deal for the two elite sporting codes.

The tenancy partnership will mean United’s administration staff and A-League team will move to the Essendon Hangar in Tullamarine, bringing the green and black staff under the one roof for the first time.  

Chris Pehlivanis, CEO Western United said:

“Our core values at Western United are togetherness, effort and growth and this partnership speaks to those values in every way,” Pehlivanis said.

“Our club has grown enormously over a short period of time and as a result, we needed to explore all options to accommodate both our staff and our players and their increasing high-performance needs.

“To be able to utilise the world class facilities at The Hangar and bring our team together was a really attractive solution for us while we build our permanent home in Tarneit.

“Importantly we are still very committed to our existing partnership with the George Cross Football Club in Fraser Rise. Whilst we’ve had a need to expand, we have also been able to strengthen our partnership with George Cross.

“We’ve been with George Cross from the beginning – many fans will fondly remember being at this venue for our first practice match – and we will continue to have a presence there long into the future.

“Our academy program will continue to operate out of the facility as well as our future women’s football program.”

The partnership with Essendon is testament to the rapid growth of United. In just its third year of existence, it has expanded to include youth academy teams, an A-League Women’s licence for season 2022/23 plus community partnerships and programs such as the partnership with Calder United and the establishment of Powerchair and Frame Football teams.

The move also allows Western United Academy teams to play home games at George Cross FC throughout the Victorian NPL competition.

Essendon Chief Executive Xavier Campbell welcomed Western United Football Club to the NEC Hangar.

“We welcome Western United as partners at the NEC Hangar, and look forward to a strong partnership between the cross-code organisations over the years to come,” Campbell said.

“The partnership will see Western United primarily utilise the community oval on our training fields, with their players and staff also accessing some of the new performance and expanded office areas. While this partnership will deliver important outcomes for the Essendon Football Club, providing an important step forward in our aspirations for developing a truly world class, multi-faceted sports and community precinct, it’s also important to note that the partnership and particularly the use of training facilities will have no direct impact on the operations of our football programs. That said, we expect the partnership over time to provide a range of opportunities for growth as our staff and players develop relationships and identify and leverage opportunities for mutual benefit.”

The Western United A-League Men’s team will begin training at The Hangar from Monday 18th October.

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