Mark Bridge: Letter to the fans

After his 100th appearance in Red & Black, Mark Bridge writes a letter to the fans ahead of tonight's match against Melbourne City.

When signing for a football club you never really think about whether you will make it to 100 appearances for the club.
Speaking with Popa before signing with the Wanderers I knew that he was going to be successful and under him the whole club would be painted with success. But just how successful was something that I could have never imagined.
Within three seasons we were a dominant force making two Grand Finals and winning the AFC Champions League – a feat that no other Australian club has done before.
Even now, after playing 100 matches for our club, I still look back on our first ever trial match on a very cold night in Nepean where we had only six players contracted and a number of trialists.
4,000 people showed up.
I knew then that the support for the club was going to be there, that every person in Western Sydney was going to support this club built for the people and by the people.
We live in such a big catchment area with different cultures and backgrounds that love football. It seems a bit silly to not have had a club in the Hyundai A-League from the very start.
I never fully understood how amazing the atmosphere was at Wanderland until I was injured in the first season: for a couple of matches I was forced to sit in the stands and to see it from that perspective was amazing.
At that moment I grasped how big the Wanderers had become and how much of an unbelievable spectacle Wanderland had become in Australian sport.
The support for the Wanderers has become almost cult-like and everywhere I go all over the country I see jerseys being worn and stickers on cars and street signs.
It’s an amazing club to be part of and it’s something that when I eventually finish football I will look back on with some great memories. I am so proud to have played 100 games wearing the Red & Black for a club that has become a major part of our community.