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Wanderers welcomed to the western bosom

Date

Dominic Bossi

West's awake ... the Red & Black Bloc on display.

West's awake ... the Red & Black Bloc on display. Photo: Brendan Esposito

EVER since their launch in June, the Western Sydney Wanderers have maintained their ambition to be a community club and coach Tony Popovic believes they have gone a long way to winning the hearts and minds of that community with a spirited A-League debut on Saturday night.

The Wanderers showed no sign of stage fright against the Central Coast Mariners, demonstrating a fighting spirit that Popovic said would already have endeared them to Australia's ''football heartland''.

''They want to win, which is very important, and that resonates with the people of the west,'' Popovic said after the game. ''They're winners. They work hard for their dollar; they work hard to strive for things in their life and hopefully that's a reflection of the team they watched today.''

As hard-earned as the fans' dollars may be, they were spent freely after the game, with reports that many merchandise stands at Parramatta Stadium sold out of the Wanderers home jersey. That will further cheer the players, who were given a warm and raucous welcome by their new fans, who have dubbed themselves the ''Red & Black Bloc'', as the team ran out to be greeted by a giant banner reading ''Football Comes Home''.

''It was great to see a lot of shirts out there, it was nice. It was great for the players,'' Popovic said.

''You could feel it before the game that there was a lot of passionate people here. They want to support a team; they want a team in the west.''

The Wanderers surprised many by outplaying the Mariners, showing great maturity by sitting deep and hitting the visitors on the counter.

Their fast-paced attack created seven attempts on target and drew cheers from the stands but their coach was not surprised at the benchmark they set themselves for the rest of the season.

''We set ourselves high expectations,'' Popovic said. ''We said that we will be very competitive [on] the first day that we took on this project, and we had no doubt that we would be.

''Each day we want to improve, and that's what we've done since day one,'' the coach said.

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Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

Round 1
Fri, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4 vs WST 1 Report Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs NEW Report Stats
SYD 1 vs MEC 1 Report Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Report Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Report Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Report Stats
SYD 3 vs WST 2 Report Stats
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC 1 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Report Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 2 Report Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5 vs MEC 2 Report Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC 1 vs ADE 2 Report Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2 vs CCM Report Stats
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WST Report Stats
ADE vs SYD Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs VIC 2 Report Stats
BRI 1 vs MEC 3 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 1 Report Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 4 Report Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs WEL 1 Report Stats
SYD vs VIC Report Stats
PER 2 vs WST 1 Report Stats
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
MEC 2 vs CCM 2 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs BRI Report Stats
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
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PER 2 vs WEL 1 Report Stats
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
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Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 19:00AAMI
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BRI vs PER 17:00SS
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Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MEC 16:00WS
NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
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Round 9
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
WST vs BRI 19:30Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs NEW 20:00SS
Tue, 09 DecTimes shown AEDT
WST vs PER 19:30TBC
Thu, 08 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 17:30WS
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ADE vs MEC 19:30Coopers Stadium
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Round 10
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PER 19:30AS
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 19:30TBC
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NEW vs WEL 17:00HUN
ADE vs WST 20:00Coopers Stadium
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Round 11
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 19:30Coopers Stadium
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WEL vs CCM 16:00EP
WST vs MEC 17:00Pirtek Stadium
VIC vs SYD 19:30ES
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Round 12
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WST 20:00SS
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs ADE 17:00HUN
MEC vs VIC 19:30AAMI
PER vs CCM 21:45NIB
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Round 13
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs PER 17:30AAMI
SYD vs ADE 19:30AS
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CCM vs BRI 17:00Central Coast Stadium
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WEL vs WST 17:00WS
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Round 14
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs MEC 17:00HUN
BRI vs SYD 20:00SS
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
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VIC vs PER 19:30Simonds Stadium
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Round 15
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW 19:30WIN Stadium
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WEL vs BRI 15:00WS
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PER vs ADE 23:00NIB
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WST vs VIC 19:30Pirtek Stadium
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Round 16
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs NEW 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs SYD 19:30Central Coast Stadium
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PER vs VIC 20:00NIB
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BRI vs WEL 15:00SS
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Round 17
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 19:30HUN
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Round 18
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
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WEL vs MEC 16:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
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Round 19
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs VIC 20:00SS
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MEC vs PER 17:00AAMI
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Round 20
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs ADE 19:30AAMI
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
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PER vs BRI 21:45NIB
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WEL 17:00AAMI
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Round 21
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 19:30HUN
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs ADE 18:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
VIC vs PER 19:30AAMI
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CCM vs MEC 15:00Central Coast Stadium
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Round 22
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs CCM 19:30Coopers Stadium
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs VIC 19:30Pirtek Stadium
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SYD vs BRI 19:30AS
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MEC vs NEW 17:00AAMI
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Round 23
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs MEC 19:30AS
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CCM vs PER 15:00Central Coast Stadium
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Round 24
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
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Round 26
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs NEW 19:30AAMI
PER vs SYD 21:45NIB
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Round 27
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs CCM 17:30WS
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Brisbane Roar FC 6 1 0 5 -3 3
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