By John Kotsiopoulos
For 4 glorious seasons, the Wanderers called Pirtek Stadium their home. Right in the heart of Parramatta, the stadium was perfect location for everybody in Western Sydney. With the demolition of Pirtek Stadium underway, we thought we’d look at some of the memories and momentous games that have taken place at the original Wanderland.
- First Ever Game against Central Coast Mariners
How fitting for us to start off this list with what was the start of the first Wanderers season. The end result would be a nil all draw between the two teams that would at the end of the season, play in the A-League Grand Final. This game symbolised our arrival into Australian football, and from that game, we have continued to move on and prosper, becoming one of Australia’s biggest clubs.
- 2016 Semi Final against Brisbane Roar
What a game this was, a 9 goal thriller with the victor earning a place in the 2016 A-League Grand Final. After just over 20 minutes, the Wanderers found themselves 3-0 down at home to Brisbane. From there, we achieved what is most likely the greatest comeback in A-League history to win the game 5-4. It was a night where our emotions were taken on a wild roller coaster ride, and a night fans will never forget.
- Shinji Ono’s Last Home Game
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best player to ever put on a Wanderers jersey. What a talent Shinji Ono was. A leader, play-maker and huge crowd favourite, Shinji was loved by everyone from the minute he was signed as our marque. That is what made his departure all the more heartbreaking. We will never forget his final game at Wanderland, as well as the tifo and chant that was made in his honour.
- 2014 ACL Final First Leg
What an effort by all the boys. In our first ever Champions League Campaign, here we were in the final against Al-Hilal. A sold out jam-packed Pirtek Stadium was there to witness our Victory which would eventually lead to becoming Champions of Asia. If anyone had said when our inception was first announced that we would win the Champions League, we would have called them crazy, but it happened, and it put not only the Wanderers, but the A-League on the global map.
- Lifting the Premiers Plate
What an accomplishment this was. Our very first season, coming in to a league that was already well established, we managed to prove everybody wrong, and finish as minor premiers. Nobody would have envisioned that, and nobody can ever take that away from us. When everybody had pretty much written us off after our first few games, we showed true West Sydney spirit and went through what was an incredible debut season. Lifting the Premiers Plate at home was one of the greatest moments in our history.