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Wanderers kick off new partnership

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Sydney Catholic Schools will kick off a new partnership with the Wanderers to heighten football skills. Photo: SCS Sport
Sydney Catholic Schools will kick off a new partnership with the Wanderers to heighten football skills. Photo: SCS Sport

By Bethany Alvaro

The Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney Catholic Schools are kicking off a new partnership to provide students with a range of programs and services to heighten their football skills.

Wanderers’ CEO Scott Hudson said that this will be a “long-term, mutually beneficial partnership.”

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The program will be offered to students in Conference 4, comprising schools located in Bankstown, East Hills and the South-West of Sydney.

The partnership will enable students from the grassroots, to Sydney Catholic Schools’ most elite student players, to participate in a range of professionally-run activities, such as after school clinics and holiday camps.

The partnership will also see the Wanderers aid in the Conference 4 football trials for students at an elite level. SCS will be provided with opportunities to utilise the eminent facilities the club offers, such as multiple full-size football fields, and “Wanderers 5s” fields which are nine state-of-the-art all-weather mini pitches that will be used for being used for trials, interschool sport, conference finals and the Sydney championship finals later in the year.

As Wanderers’ CEO Scott Hudson emphasised, it is not just the practical elements of football that this partnership will provide to students.

“It teaches kids a number of life skills … how to work in a team, communication, leadership, how to win and how to lose,” he said.

Executive Director of SCS, Tony Farley, highlighted the importance of this collaboration, stating, “This partnership is particularly important to us because Western Sydney has as much football talent, as much academic talent, as much artistic talent, as anywhere in the world.”

“Talent will live and grow with partnerships like these,” he said.

Students are equally as eager to embrace all that will come from a partnership like this.

Samuel O’Connor, a student at Freeman Catholic College, Bonnyrigg, is one of SCS’s most promising players and attended the NSW Schools Football Tour to the UK in January of this year.

In regards to the Wanderers’ collaboration, he recognised its importance for both elite and beginner students to embrace the programs on offer.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to play on facilities like these. It motivates students to train harder … it’s good for kids who don’t have a club and need a foundation,” he said.

The partnership officially launched last Wednesday at the Wanderers Football Park in Rooty Hill. Eleven students and their parents, from both primary and secondary schools attended the launch and were greeted with familiar faces, like Marcelo Guedes, the Wanderers’ A-League Men’s team captain and Gabriel Cléùr, A-League men’s player.

Tours of the high-end facilities were given, allowing students to see what the day-to-day work of a professional football player entails. Students had the chance to play on fields that the A-League women competitions play their games on, which also happened to be the same grounds used during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand in 2023.

With eight full-size football fields, a gymnasium, recovery and change facilities, it was a great opportunity for students to fully experience and immerse themselves in the world of professional football.

SCS is excited for what this partnership will provide to its students in the near future, and is eager to continue collaborating with the Wanderers to enable students to become the best, all-rounded players as possible.

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