It’s likely that you saw the Sydney Derby, the crowd, the passion, the late goal. But it’s also likely that you may have missed one of the more positive stories to come out of the day.In the two days leading up to the Derby, young Brendan Upsall was granted a wish by the Starlight Foundation to become a Western Sydney Wanderer.
Everything began the day before the Hyundai A-League’s biggest fixture, the Sydney Derby, and Brandan and his family were invited to Wanderland.
Access to the Wanderers’ training sessions is difficult at the best of times – even media only get 30 minutes per week – but Brendan was welcomed pitch side for the team’s most important session of the season.
As the wide-eyed youngster watched-on, the day grew even better as he was invited to join in on the session: taken under the wing of Brendon Santalab and Andrew Redmayne as goalkeeping coach Zeljko Kalac ran him through his paces.
The Wanderers fan and budding goalkeeper for Merrylands FC then found himself in a penalty shoot-out against Santalab as Liam Reddy gave him gloves and boots.
While a day training with the Western Sydney Wanderers might tire out the best of them, Brendan was up and at it the next day as he prepared for the game with the team, arriving in a limousine.
Hanging out in the change rooms, Brendan got his preparations under way with prehab done under the eye of the club’s physio before he headed to the press conference room to give his final thoughts before the match.
Then the biggest moment of them all as Brendan waited patiently in the tunnel to walk out in front of a noisy crowd.
With his name, photo and number announced in the squad line-ups on the Mitsubishi Electric big screen, Brendan got to walk out with the players to create a memory that will last a life time.