Macarthur FC Head Coach Ante Milicic has spoken about the excitement of the 2020/21 season kicking off in 27 days.
The Bulls will open the upcoming A-League season with the western Sydney derby against Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday December 27th at 6.30pm.
“We need to play our part to build these rivalries. To start the season, with our inaugural match being a derby, will be a big moment for our club.”
“We are playing a club with a proud history in a short space of time. When you look from the outside at the training facilities and their home stadium, they are first class facilities. We know round one will be a difficult game for us.”
Having been involved with two previous expansion clubs – Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Heart (Melbourne City), Milicic said he is drawing on the experience of the past to help guide the Bulls inaugural season.
“Each expansion club is different, and you learn a lot from every experience. You look over your notes and what you liked and what you think will work. This is a very exciting project and I’m fortunate to be part of.”
“I’m happy with how pre-season is going, the staff and players have been working extremely hard. It is important to get the foundations right in the early stages, but I am delighted with the progress so far.
In 2020/21, the Bulls will be the first sporting organisation in the world to launch during a global pandemic. Milicic says the past few months have been challenging, but it has had some positivises.
“Traditional player recruitment has been difficult during COVID. We would typically travel to meet overseas based Australian and foreign players, watch them train, play, and get a good understanding of them, however with the restrictions this has not been possible.”
Matt Derbyshire in action against Newcastle Jets during a pre-season friendly in Maitland.
“This has presented some good and different opportunities that have worked in some strange way in our favour. We have been able to sign some players that otherwise would not have been available.”
“I am pleased with the squad we have recruited quite well.
“We only have a handful of players who have previously played in the A-League. We have a good balance of experience and youth plus a few players returning home from playing abroad.”
“It’s great there is a new team in the league, introducing new players, stadiums and supporter ground to the competition will help in growing the game.”
Macarthur FC's first home match of the season at Campbelltown Stadium will be against Central Coast Mariners, Sunday January 3rd at 4pm.