Western United planning for Tarneit games next season
Western United are on track to host A-League matches at their new training facility in Tarneit next season, with the venue taking shape.
The club announced in May last year they intended to host matches at their under-construction training facility, with their promised home stadium still several years off.
Fast forward 12 months, and the Wyndham Regional Football Facility is nearing completion, with the pitch recently laid.
The facility is a joint project of the Wyndham City Council and United's parent company, Western Melbourne Group, with construction commencing in March 2022 and due for completion around October this year.
According to ESPN, the club has begun the process of contacting suppliers for temporary grandstand seating and other necessary amenities, which would increase the venue's capacity up to 8,000, suitable for hosting both men's and women's sides.
The venue will serve as a stopgap measure for “the next two to three seasons” until the club's promised stadium, which was the centrepiece of their 2018 bid to join the A-League, is built.
The club's CEO, Chris Pehlivanis, stated that the club has been communicating with the APL over the requirements associated with shifting matches to their Tarneit base, with several criteria needing to be met before a shift to the venue could be confirmed.
Pehlivanis told ESPN, “The plan is to play every single game under our banner at this precinct. A-League Men, A-League Women, and NPL. That's going to be the home of Western United. Build something special, something that all of the western corridor can be proud of.”
While initially playing the bulk of their home games in Geelong, the club has more recently primarily hosted games at Melbourne’s premier rectangular sports stadium, AAMI Park. Games have also been played at Mars Stadium, UTAS Stadium and North Hobart Oval, to name a few, while a bid to play at Lakeside Stadium last season was rejected by South Melbourne.
Despite representing Melbourne’s west, just one A-League Men’s game has been hosted west of Melbourne, in January 2020 at the Whitten Oval, while its women’s side has played at City Vista Reserve in Caroline Springs.
Last year, Western United chairman Jason Sourasis admitted the club's early timelines for its 15,000-seat purpose-built stadium were unrealistic but vowed to deliver on the promise, anticipating the stadium would be ready for action in 2026.