‘‘The most amazing story in modern Australian sporting history became even more astonishing tonight..’’
Well, the Western Sydney Wanderers PR machine could be forgiven the hyperbole.
After all, the Wanderers had just beaten the Central Coast Mariners 1-0 away in the A League soccer competition at Blue Tongue Stadium.
And they’d shown the hallmark of all top-class teams: the Wanderers had put in a bad one.
They’d been outplayed and had still found a way to win.
They’d won via a superb goal to super sub Labinot Haliti in the 72nd minute, and became the first team since Melbourne Victory in 2005 to win eight on the trot.
They inflicted premiers, the Mariners’ first home loss in 11 games this season and are two points clear at the top.
Certain superlatives can be used without the need for hyperbole.
The Wanderers are the Australian sports story of the summer.
They’re not living the dream or a fairytale; this is reality.
The spare parts teaam assembled in five minutes have exceeded every expectation.
The untested Tony Popovic is already the coach of this or any year.
They’ve already got the most fanatical supporter base, the Wanderers Warriors, of any Australian sporting club, and 5000 of those fans went to the Central Coast on Saturday night.
The Wanderers are such an improbable story, they should be paid to be in the A League.
Oh, that’s right. They owe their existence to government financial support.
Which leads to the most tantalising part of the success story.
Several A League clubs — current or defunct — have owed their existence to the financial largesse of multi-millionaire backers.
The Wanderers have the best chance of any club of being financially self-sufficient.
They have a huge junior catchment area, a huge supporter base and a huge potential sponsorship base.
They’re hot and they’re huge.
The Wanderers host the Wellington Phoenix at Parramatta Stadium at 5pm this Sunday and yes, it will be huge.