It was obvious something big was on the cards when the seats around the main table in front of the stage were occupied by the who’s who of Australian soccer.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold, Football Federation Australia chief executive officer David Gallop, Matildas coach Ante Milicic and a few other round ball heavyweights could only mean one thing: we were here at The Cube, Campbelltown Catholic Campbelltown for a little more than just the big reveal of our A-League club’s colours and name.
Well, much more, as it turned out.
Most people by now know that the name will be Macarthur FC – how good is that – and Bulls the nickname of the first grade team when it runs on the pitch for the first time in August 2020.
The colours will be predominantly black and white with a dash of yellow as a nod to our Indigenous links to the Dharawal people.
In a packed Cube auditorium, and with Simon Hill, the top football commentator in Australia, as the master of ceremonies, not even a hiccup or two in showing a video explaining the reasons for the name and colours could detract from such an exciting event for Macarthur, which also raised money for five great local charities.
It means that Macarthur FC Bulls now have a name, colours, a chief executive officer, a coach and a full board more than 14 months before the team has to kick a ball in anger in the A-League.
When it was his turn at the microphone, the Macarthur FC Bulls CEO, Archie Fraser, dropped a little hint to the FFA hierarchy sitting in front of him about scheduling a local derby as the Bulls’ first outing, but time will tell.
Coach Ante Milicic, who first has to lead the Matildas in the women’s FIFA World Cup in France in a few weeks, promised that recruitment for the first grade squad will be on the basis of “those who want to come to Macarthur for the right reasons’’.
This response got nods of approval from the audience, which was made up of the who’s who of Macarthur and South West Sydney – in a way reflecting the table at the front with all big hitters of the “football family’’ in Australia.
Local council were represented, as were local MPs, and Wests Group Macarthur were there led by chief executive Tony Mathew, as was the Catholic Club and its supremo Michael Lavorato.
Indeed the Catholic Club was announced as one of the five community partners of Macarthur FC.
It was also announced that Macarthur FC will establish the first ever Indigenous football academy in Australia, and which will be chaired by Professor John Maynard, who attended today’s function.
And the feeling everyone had on the way out was that this was one of many “firsts’’ to come from this big addition to the fabric of Macarthur country.