EXCLUSIVE: The A-League's newest supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc, believe they’ll quickly become the best fans in the country.
West Sydney Wanderers fans voted on Saturday to adopt Red and Black Bloc as the name for their active support, which will gather in Parramatta Stadium’s northern stand on matchdays.
RBB spokesperson Sean Herrett said the name represents the concept of “a union, a pact, an alliance” that fans can unite under.
“It says ‘we’re in this together’,” Herrett told au.fourfourtwo.com. “It also represents the melting pot of Western Sydney, which is a diverse area, getting behind one team.”
Other names considered included The Frontier, Western Army and Terra Oeste. The Asylum was the other finalist, but it was soundly beaten in a vote at Saturday’s supporters’ meeting, which was attended by Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman.
The vote was taken in person by the 100 or so fans who met at the group’s home venue, the Woolpack Hotel, rather than online to ensure it was the active fans who had their say - and to avoid trolls from other clubs such as crosstown rivals Sydney FC.
An impromptu chant of the new name swayed any doubters on the night.
The name has some loose political connotations but the group wished to distance itself from such connections.
“That was raised, but whatever you do, someone is going to criticise you, so we just decided to choose what we liked and go with it,” Herrett said.
Herrett said the passion and football experience he has seen among his fellow supporters, as well as an ideal set up at Parramatta Stadium, has him convinced the RBB will be a force to be reckoned with as soon as this season.
“This is going to be the best home end without a doubt,” he said. “We will show Australia what football support can be.”
The Wanderers fans, who organise through westsydneyfootball.com, are pushing to have their stand renamed the Mark Bosnich Stand, or the Bozza Stand, during the A-League season.
As a “West Sydney larrikin”, Bosnich is the perfect fit for the RBB’s image, Herrett said.
Western Sydney Wanderers will make their playing debut when the fledghling side takes on Nepean FC next Wednesday, kicking off at 7:30pm at Cook Park, St Marys.
On August 8, Wanderers FC will face Blacktown City at Lilly Homes Stadium, Blacktown, kick-off 7.00pm.
“It is very exciting to be able to play our first ever matches as Western Sydney Wanderers and to play them in areas the team grew from is very important,” said Wanderers coach Tony Popovic.
“We are still busy in the process of trailing and signing players and these matches will be a great chance to test out potential players in our system.
“While it is still very early in our development the team is coming together nicely and these matches will be a step in the right direction for us as a team.”
Admission to both matches is free.