This week the papers focused on Andrew Redmayne, the Wanderers Heritage match and the ongoing talk of potential Australian marquees. There was also plenty of discussion about where the Wanderers might play should Pirtek Stadium undergo developments.
Redmayne was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald before the club’s match against Canberra FC. He discussed his journey to the Wanderers and the importance of Zeljko Kalac in his future development.
A call from former Socceroo and Wanderers goalkeeping coach Zeljko Kalac gave him the lifeline he was after and the 26-year-old is hopeful he's finally found his long-term home.
The Australian Institute of Sport graduate won't be gifted a starting spot, given he will battle former Liverpool player Dean Bouzanis to replace the departed Ante Covic as first-choice shot stopper.
But he wants to repay Kalac's faith as a part of a Wanderers squad that has undergone a massive overhaul after last season's disappointing A-League campaign.
"I started the season for Melbourne City. I just had a run of bad form so I was out," Redmayne said. "Spider (Kalac) gave me a buzz and said he'd like to work for me.
"I had another year on my contract but when someone of that calibre [wants you] and the quality of the coaching staff here, it was a great chance to progress my game.
"There's competition for all spots. That's something Poppa [coach Tony Popovic] has worked on, bringing a lot of depth to the team and it's something you need to challenge for a title."
With the transfer window still open, talk of potential Wanderers signings continued to be fueled by the Daily Telegraph who discussed the future of three Socceroos: James Troisi (who now appears to be heading to Saudi Arabia), Oliver Bozanic and Tommy Oar.
In his spare time, Troisi has been turning to social media to show, Owen Hargreaves-style, he is working on his fitness.
Troisi is under contract at Italian giants Juventus, but with his future there appearing bleak, the A-League could be his best chance for regular game time.
Troisi has reportedly been in talks with Western Sydney Wanderers, but his $1 million wage demands could be a potential stumbling block.
Bozanic is also open to a return to Australia, with Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory interested, while options from the Italian second tier (La Spezia) and Croatia (HNK Rijeka) remain a possibility.
There is less talk for Oar, who has no interest in returning to play in the A-League. He has reportedly had interest from the Middle East but would prefer to challenge himself in Europe or England, potentially in the Championship.
The unconfirmed development of a new stadium in Parramatta continued to be discussed, with the Wanderers featuring on the front page of the Canterbury Bankstown Express.
Western Sydney Wanderers will look at playing games at Belmore Sports Ground as part of a push into the Canterbury and inner west region.
The A-League club’s home ground Pirtek Stadium is expected to undergo a $300 million upgrade, with work to start as soon as next year.
The Wanderers, with 18,700 members, would need a temporary home while Parramatta is redeveloped.
The 20,000-capacity Belmore Sports Ground is one option, with Penrith, Campbelltown and ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park.
Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas said the club looked at playing its FFA Cup tie against Brisbane Roar this month at Belmore before deciding on Pepper Stadium in Penrith.
“We haven’t ruled out the possibility of taking future matches to the inner west where we have a large number of members and supporters,” he said.
Mr Tsatsimas said the region was important to the Wanderers, with the club forming a partnership with the Canterbury District Football Association.
The idea was supported by the Back to Belmore group that has campaigned for more sporting events at the venue.
“It would bring unparalleled joy to soccer fans in the area,” a spokesman said.
“Seeing Wanderers fans walk up and down the streets of Belmore would be fantastic and it would mean a lot for local businesses.”
The Wanderers’ involvement in the community was noted by the Parramatta Sun, who promoted the Wanderers Heritage Match this Saturday at the King’s School.
The match marks the 135th anniversary of the first ever game of football in NSW – held in Parramatta between the prestigious school and a group of gentlemen called The Wanderers.
TV personality Ian “Dicko” Dickson is captaining the Wanderers Heritage XI, which includes female players Catherine Cannuli, Tara Rushton, and club ambassadors Adam D’Apuzzo, Mike Cockerill and former Socceroo Jimmy Fraser.
Master in charge of football at King’s, Peter Denyer, said the school was enlisting old captains to help out.
“We have had a number of great players over the years and it should be a very enjoyable match,” he said.
Bankstown Lions player Reuben Vijayakumaran will be on hand to play for the school, along with Sam Walker from the Lake Macquarie Football Club. The school has about 20 players to draw upon, and hopes to rotate the players with 10- to 15-minute stints on the field.
“We are hoping the weather will hold, as it was washed out last year,” Mr Denyer said. “And that there won’t be too many sore players afterwards.”
The Saturday match at the JS White oval celebrates the historic game, which was played before a crowd of 1000 in August 1880, and resulted in a 5-0 loss by the school.
A coaching clinic with the Wanderers is also being run as part of the day, including penalty shootout competitions and player appearances with new marquee player Federico Piovaccari, as well as Jonathan Aspro, Golgol Mebrahtu, Mitch Nichols and Dimas Delgado.
Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas said the original match was a part of club “folklore”.
“It gives us another opportunity to engage with the region, with our fans and create a positive experience with those involved with the Wanderers family,” he said.
The Canberra Times reported on the news of Josh Gaspari signing a youth league contract with the Red & Black and the challenges he will face living away from home.
The 19-year-old has accepted an NYL contract with the Wanderers and will need to find a part-time job to cover his living expenses when he moves to Sydney next month.
Gaspari has had two games as a trialist for the Wanderers' A-League side, coming off the bench for the final half an hour of Tuesday night's 3-0 win against Canberra FC at Deakin Stadium.
Capital Football is aiming to have a Canberra United team in the NYL as soon as the 2016-17 season to have a pathway for young footballers.
Gaspari said it was vital players had the opportunity to train in a full-time environment without having to leave their home city.
See you next week for another edition of WTPS!