The vision of the Western United academy is to provide opportunities to the best young talents in the West and create an elite pathway for players to take the step into professional football.
Western United’s academy set up launched in 2021, with the Club entering Victoria’s NPL3 for the first time with a Senior Under 23’s side and an Under 21’s team.
In its first season of competitive matches, Western United was extremely successful on the pitch, sitting in third place on the table after 14 matches, just one point adrift of top spot when the season was abandoned due to COVID-19.
In 2021, United promoted four players to the A-League Men side with professional scholarship contracts and debuted a number of academy stars across league and FFA Cup fixtures.
Adisu Bayew became a shining light from the Academy, scoring his first two A-League Men goals and making 16 appearances – including one in the Grand Final – in the 2021/22 season.
Ahead of the 2022 NPL3 season, Western United welcomed Anthony Frost into the new role of Academy Director, where he also took over as Under 23’s Head Coach.
Working alongside former A-League Men players Diogo Ferreira and Mate Dugandzic in the coaching staff, Frost began shaping the Academy with an eye to becoming a leading producer of talented young footballers in Australia.
That vision saw United’s Under 23’s enjoy a stellar season in 2022, finishing in third place on the table and defeating Goulburn Valley Suns in a play off to earn promotion into NPL 2.
The Under 21’s, coached by Vaughan Coveny, also had a fantastic season, reaching the finals for the first time.
United’s promotion began an exciting period for the Western United Academy, with the Club launching its Junior Academy program with four new teams joining the Green and Black family in 2023.
Teams in Under 14’s, Under 15’s, Under 16’s and Under 18’s divisions have filled out United’s Academy structure, providing a complete pathway for young players in the West to aspire to reach the professional game.
In March 2023, the Western United Development Centre was launched, a specialised training support program that will gradually incorporate players aged 9-13 that aspire to be selected for the Western United Academy.
In just two years of operation, the Western United Academy is already incorporating hundreds of young players in the West and preparing them for life as a professional footballer.
Western United is more than just an A-League Men team, and the ambitious vision for the future of the academy set up will continue the Club’s aim to find the most talented players in the West.