More A-League Derbies For Melbourne And Sydney, As Two New Teams Join Up
The A-League is up to 12 teams after Western Melbourne and South-West Sydney saw off competition from four other clubs to seal their spots in professional football.
The entries will be staggered over two seasons, with Western Melbourne joining the league next season, while Macarthur South-West Sydney will join up in two years.
Three other teams based around Sydney and Melbourne as well as a franchise from Canberra had their bids rejected.
This will mean more derbies in both of Australia's largest cities, which the A-League hopes will increase long-term football growth in the largest possible markets.
"Choosing the teams they did they've created a number of other derbies which is what football is all about, fans and players alike always look forward to playing their closest rivals," Macarthur South-West Sydney ambassador and former Socceroo, Brett Emerton told 10 daily.
Former Socceroos Brett Emerton (left) and Nick Carle (right)
The planned expansion of the league will not end here however, according to head of the A-League and W-League, Greg O'Rourke.
"Ultimately one of our goals is to move to 14 teams and then you have a much more balanced full home and away potential."
A major factor for both successful bids was that they provide the likelihood of being able to promote football in their areas for the long term said FFA Chairman, Chris Nikou.
"Each gives us a wonderful footprint into growth corridors in the Australian marketplace and positions us for the long term of advancing football in this country."
According to the bids from both clubs, they're certainly in a position to do just that.
The Western Melbourne Group plans to build a new, privately funded, 15,000 seater stadium while also having plans to bring in a 'world class' marquee signing.
Celtic captain and Scotland international, Scott Brown, has been linked with a switch to the burgeoning A-League side.
Macarthur South-West Sydney's expansion plan is equally impressive.
They've been linked to former Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak, a former international team-mate of Brett Emerton and Nick Carle who are ambassadors for the new franchise.
They plan to base themselves out of Campbelltown Stadium and hope to take advantage of a massive local talent base in the area with around 25,000 registered male and female players in the region.
This sort of production line for local talent is vitally important, not just to Macarthur South-West Sydney but Australia as a whole said Emerton.
"Something I think we need to focus on in the coming years is putting money into grassroots football, not only here in the Macarthur region, but throughout the whole of Australia."
Feature Image AAP
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