This article was written by Sydney FC member, Melissa Muscat.
It’s been a long five months, but the Hyundai A League and Westfield W League seasons are back. I’m one of the lucky ones who is a lover of both rugby league and football, so no off season blues for me, literally. In October, a week on from the NRL Grand Final, the football season begins and I have another blue team to support. March through to May becomes a little hectic with the two codes overlapping for eight weeks, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t imagine not having a team to support for six months of the year. I love being a member of two sporting families in alternate seasons.
There are some who have an issue with the fact that in football, after 90 minutes, the score can be a nil all draw. It’s a game of skill and needs to be appreciated for just that. It’s a different spectacle to rugby league, so when those goals are produced, they are genuinely celebrated. The atmosphere at a football match can be electric. Last season’s semi final against original rivals Melbourne Victory is a stand out memory. The final result ended in a 6-1 victory to Sydney and the entire crowd erupted in song at Jubilee Oval. The sea of sky blue chanting, ‘Ninkovic…ole, ole, ole’, when Milos Ninkovic scored the sixth and final goal for Sydney to secure a grand final place, was a genuine goosebump moment.
I also consider myself fortunate to support a successful team like Sydney FC. If you are someone looking for something to entertain you during the NRL off season, The sky blues are the team to follow. They are as close to an excitement machine in the A League and W League as one can get. A very well run club from the front office to the playing field, the team is always producing new talent, whether through import players, marquees or youth players and the results have recently been reflected on the pitch. The W League team following suit with a bevy of talent from the national team, The Matildas, in the squad.
Cue in Sunday. With the demolition of Allianz Stadium, Sydney FC currently has two interim home grounds. Leichhardt Oval and Jubilee Stadium. The first home game of the current A League season for Sydney, took place at the former and the anticipation could be felt by all. The hill at Leichhardt Oval was full, as was the member’s stand. The sky blue family were in full voice, members and fans in their new jerseys with their favourite name and number and a new look squad offering hope aplenty. The score line also didn’t disappoint with the final result finishing in a 2-1 win to Sydney FC.
It’s a great feeling having a team to barrack for all year round, it’s also a bonus that my football club has won two premierships in as many years. The Sydney FC W League squad won the premiership last year also in a sublime spectacle. I’m never one to take that success for granted, with my rugby league team holding the current record for longest premiership drought. Success is never given in sport, regardless of the circumstance, roster or past accolades of the team. The Sydney FC faithful will be looking ahead to more success throughout the season with a positively tweaked line up and potent attacking combination but also short term to the Sydney derby next Saturday night against Western Sydney Wanderers at our rivals new home ground, Bankwest Stadium. This game should definitely be one for the ages with the first Sydney derby at the city’s newest and hottest sporting venue. Two players making the switch to the opposing teams and perhaps the biggest rivalry of which supporters will make the most noise. Bring it on.