Macarthur residents are being urged to join forces as the bid to establish a local A-League teams ramps up.
Another two teams will be added to Australia’s top flight soccer competition in the 2019/20 season – and Campbelltown Council are keen to see one of those club’s based in Macarthur.
Expressions of interest for bidders close late next month.
The proposed Macarthur team has the backing of every local MP and council, however, now is the time for the region’s residents to make their voices heard, Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic said.
“We’ve had meetings with Football Federation Australia and they know the population growth and the figures in Macarthur. But we also want them (the FFA) to hear those voices saying ‘yes, we want a team in Macarthur’,” he said.
“It’s not just a team for Campbelltown – it’s a team for Camden, Wollondilly, Wingecarribee and the Southern Highlands.
“We have a big population now (which will boom in the next 20 years) so we deserve an A-League team for Macarthur.”
Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said she was fully on board with proposal.
She urged Football Federation Australia officials to take a good, hard look at the region before making a decision.
“We are the centre of growth – it’s all happening here,” she said.
“This would be great for residents in Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly.”
Campbelltown MP Greg Warren said Campbelltown Council also had his full backing.
“Our population is going to become close to the size of Canberra and we have a large soccer community,” he said.
“I think it would be fantastic and suitable to have an A-League side out here.”
Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell said Macarthur was the “only logical” location for a new A-League club to be established.
“Macarthur is one of the fastest growing areas in the state – if not the fastest,” he said.
“It makes sense to have an A-League side in an area where there will be a million plus people.
“I can’t think of a better place for a new club to be.”
Camden MP Chris Patterson said he would support the local side – apart from when they played their sky blue cross-town rivals.
“I’ve always been told you can’t change sides so I’ll still root for Sydney FC,” he said.
“I’d support (the Macarthur team) every week but when they play Sydney FC I’d have to split my allegiances.
“I’m sure those new to the area and those into football would get behind the club.”
Macarthur MP Dr Michael Freelander said the club – and its players – would give youngsters something to aspire to.
“The players would be role models and iconic figures for our kids and young people up to,” he said.
Hume MP Angus Taylor said he looked forward to meeting with Campbelltown Council regarding the bid and he “would welcome the opportunity to support such a great idea”.