Growing The Game, Growing The Community
Western United FC
West Melbourne, VIC
4x4 MU-X LS-T
Community Engagement & Club Operations
With its passionate fans and a genuine ability to bring communities together, it’s little wonder football is recognised as the ‘world game’, and back home here in Australia, football is continuously on the rise.
Growth has been very evident in the west of Melbourne, Victoria, where the ever-expanding suburbs give birth to fresh dreams every day. At the heart of it all is Western United, a relatively new expansion club that achieved the holy grail – lifting the Isuzu UTE A-League Champions trophy – in only their third season of existence.
The rapid success of Western United is built on its values of integrity, respect, confidence and authenticity. The core spirit of the club is also the very spirit of the west: hard work and an unshakable belief that anything is possible. And as Club Vice Captain Josh Risdon explains, the club’s beliefs of unity, inclusiveness and teamwork set the tone for their approach to football.
“People don’t see how much effort goes on behind the scenes, but we’re 100% committed. We’re a tight knit group, we live and breathe the game, and it would be difficult to find a more passionate unit of players, coaches and support staff,” says Josh.
While the club’s achievements on the scoreboard are impressive, their work in the community is equally inspiring. From inclusion events to junior workshops, from growing the women’s game to providing pathways to disadvantaged communities, the work they do in this space is invaluable.
“As a professional team, it’s important that we’re winning games. But it’s not everything,” reflects Josh. “We put a lot of time and effort into giving back, to helping grow the game in our patch, and providing opportunities to people who may not usually have access to these pathways.”
Community Development Manager David Clarkson echoes this sentiment, as he talks about the wide range of community programs they have in place.
“We see these programs as a great way to help inspire and encourage people,” he says.
“One of the highlights of the work we do is the kids’ football camps, we run in partnership with local clubs. On one hand it teaches them new skills, but it also shows them what’s possible. They love it, and when they get to meet some of the A-Leagues players, you can see their eyes light up as they imagine their own future as a football star.”
The Community Development team travel around the state in an Isuzu D-MAX which David says is perfect for his community work.
“Having the D-MAX is great because we can carry all our gear and get around the state so easily. It’s super reliable too,” says David.
Western United has big plans for the future, including a new 15,000 seat all-purpose stadium and sports precinct in Tarneit, west of Melbourne. It’s a significant project, including an elite training facility, sports medicine facilities, a gymnasium, recovery facilities, sporting spaces for the community to enjoy, residential and commercial developments.
Construction is well underway on the Regional Football Facility and is set to be completed by mid-2023, giving United a permanent training base in the west, while the main pitch will also host home matches across men’s, women’s and academy competitions.
This new stadium is a symbol of Western United’s commitment to the future, the community and to their fans. To Josh, it’s also emblematic of the club’s endless passion.
“I’m a big believer that if you put in the hard work, and never give up, you can achieve anything. I think as a club we’ve proved that, but there’s so much more we want to do,” says Josh.
Find out more about Isuzu UTE's partnership with the A-League here.