Star recruit Josh Risdon in Western United’s colours.
Star recruit Josh Risdon in Western United’s colours.

New A-League club unveils name, star signing

THE A-League's newest franchise will be called Western United and become the first team to wear green and black, when they kick-off in October.

The club's football chiefs warned A-League rivals that they will continue to recruit aggressively, after poaching Socceroos fullback Josh Risdon from Western Sydney Wanderers.

Risdon, 26, is the second player to sign, after Greece international Panagiotis Kone was last week announced as their inaugural marquee signing.

Western United will be the Victoria's third A-League club, but unlike Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, they will not feature the state's capital city in the name.

The name and colours came about via an exclusive Herald Sun poll, with club chiefs opting to incorporate both black and green, which were "neck and neck" in voting.

"This week the club proper has been born," football director Steve Horvat said.

"People might not like it, but we'll be very aggressive in the marketplace both locally and overseas"
Josh Risdon has joined the United ranks. Picture: Getty Images
Josh Risdon has joined the United ranks. Picture: Getty Images

"It will no longer be a consortium or a bid. We don't have to refer to a group any more, we can refer to ourselves as a club.

"It will be a real football club with a real name and colours so it's a really exciting time for us at the moment.

"This was a big part of our real engagement plan - to go to the community and get their feedback on what our colours should be and our name.

"We had a fan forum back in August during the bidding process which sort of led to a survey where people could suggest names and colours and different things about the club."

Lou Sticca, who's in charge of player recruitment, declared that Risdon - who signed a two-year deal - was the first of many imminent signings.

Panagiotis Kone has signed with Western United. Picture: Getty
Panagiotis Kone has signed with Western United. Picture: Getty

"He's a very good signing, he's played 20 odd games for Socceroos and one of the best, if not the best Australian right-back. Delighted to have him on board and it makes a statement,'' Sticca said.

"People might not like it, but we'll be very aggressive in the marketplace both locally and overseas. We'll abide by A-League protocols but we won't be timid, we need to have a competitive team.

"We don't have any special conditions like expansion clubs have had previously or in AFL. We've been thrown in the deep end and we have to fend for ourselves.

"We've been linked with every player that's coming out of contract (in the A-League) - we haven't contacted not even 10 per cent of the players we've been associated with."

Macarthur South West Sydney, who won the second expansion license, will join the A-League in 2020-21.

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News Corp Australia


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