You don’t have to be a soccer follower to know that the arrival of Macarthur FC Bulls is something big.
Some people at yesterday’s unveiling of the name and colours were mulling over how good the team on the field would be when the Bulls join the A-League next year.
And while we all want the team to be a success on the field, maybe even go all the way and win the premiership in its first year – what happens off the field is where it really matters.
So far, so good.
The name, which caught many people by surprise, is the big one.
Having Macarthur up there in the A-League lights, potentially across all of Asia when the Bulls qualify for the Asian Champions League, is the sort of marketing and promotion of a region that money can’t buy.
I confess I am one of those people who was pleasantly surprised because I too expected some derivative name drawn more from soccer history and tradition than the name of the local area.
So, in my opinion, Macarthur FC as a name is just brilliant, as is the logo and colours, including the ochre, or yellow as I called it on our news report of the unveiling, which is a big nod to the Dharawal people, who have called this neck of woods home for a bit more than the rest of us – give or take around 40,000 years apparently.
But this vote of confidence in our region, which is soon to also boast its own international airport, will have a wider impact.
For one thing, the NRL might just take a serious look at South West Sydney and Macarthur as the perfect place for one of its clubs.
Who could that be, I wonder.
A full time presence in Macarthur has always been the no brainer option for the Wests Tigers but for various reasons the joint venture has done a reverse logic and moved closer and closer to the inner city in recent years.
Being based in Macarthur is still the best long term, no brainer option for Wests Tigers, but it looks like they would prefer to risk being relocated to Perth than Picton.
Indeed they’ve had 20 years to relocate to Macarthur and start again as Macarthur Tigers to become an NRL powerhouse, but opted instead for mediocrity – to quote Robbie Farah.
Yes, indeed, Robbie: take out 2005 and two reasonably successful seasons in 2010 and 2011 and that’s what you’re left with.
From appointing Wayne Pearce as the first coach, followed by Terry Lamb, the club was destined for mediocrity.
There was no ambitious 10 year plan to become the Broncos of Sydney, just an agreement by the two parties to the joint venture agreement to take turns at running the joint, from coaches to board chair to chief executive officer.
I pointed out at the time that this approach was a recipe for failure, which greatly upset one of the people on the new board.
Be that as it may but here we are 20 years later, Macarthur has a top flight football club, a massive redevelopment of Campbelltown Sports Stadium is on the cards and Wests Tigers are talking about building a sport centre of excellence in the inner city.
Go figure the logic in that.
But it’s never too late, so I urge the board of Wests Leagues Ashfield to get in touch with Campbelltown City Council and start a conversation about the Macarthur Tigers.
Fellows, you know that it’s a no brainer.