Hay Park to host Perth Glory game

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Raquel Rodriguez in action for Perth Glory during last year’s thrilling 4-4 W-League contest against Canberra United in Bunbury.
Camera IconRaquel Rodriguez in action for Perth Glory during last year’s thrilling 4-4 W-League contest against Canberra United in Bunbury. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Westfield W-League powerhouse Perth Glory will host the Western Sydney Wanderers in a tantalising final round fixture at Hay Park’s WML Stadium on February 29.

The match is set to be a real coup off the pitch for Bunbury and the South West, with the Wanderers tipped to fly over a big contingent of supporters.

These supporters could bring a significant economic injection according to Bunbury Mayor, Gary Brennan.

“We have held some terrific State and national events in Bunbury very recently,” he said.

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“The 2019 Australian Men’s Masters Hockey Championships attracted 1800 players between Bunbury and Busselton over 16 days and they estimate $5 million was the direct economical impact.

“Players and supporters were spending in Bunbury, Busselton, Ferguson Valley, Margaret River – anywhere in the South West where they travelled around.”

Glory coach Bobby Despotovski, who is no stranger to the region, believes the encounter will be a massive occasion for regional football in WA.

“We had a great time last year in Bunbury,” he said.

“It was a good game for the spectators and we enjoyed being able to coach the coaches and do a clinic with the kids.

“I would like to thank Football West, DSR, along with Don Punch and Gary Brennan for inviting us again and making this opportunity.

“It will be great for us to come down and spend a few days in Bunbury. It is not often we have travelled to regional areas to play a game of football, but it is a great chance for the South West to come along and support our girls.”

The match will also be particularly satisfying for Glory defender Natasha Rigby, who is bursting at the seams to put in a solid shift for her home crowd.

A proud product of Football Margaret River, fans can be sure the reliable lynchpin will be circling February 29 in her diary.

“I am from Margaret River,” she said. So the last time I came down it was a great opportunity for me because I could play in front of everyone and was able to get everyone to come up and watch.

“Although we had a great game, it was great to get in touch with the community and seeing all those young girls getting involved.”

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said he believed female participation would be the key focus surrounding the fixture, with Football West committed to a number of community and female football-based initiatives.

The potential of working with Football West to schedule a women’s Premier League night series fixture or friendly involving the South West Firebirds prior to the W-League clash has not been ruled out either, according to Glory general manager of communications, Gareth Morgan.

Kick off will be at 7.15pm.

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