Tasmania’s festival of football

Western United defender Ivan Vujica (left) with Jess Robinson (middle) from Launceston United FC and Calder United's Julia Sardo (right). Via WUFC Media.

It’s a festival of football in Tasmania this week as Western United and Calder United travel to Launceston.

Announced in February, Western United partnered with Football Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government to bring A-League and women’s football to Tasmania.

Western United will play Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix in its two games at UTAS Stadium, with Calder United playing the curtain raiser for both games.

Speaking with The Inner Sanctum, Western United CEO Chris Pehlivanis expressed just how important this festival of football is.

“We really want to grow the brand,” said Pehlivanis.

“We want to get as many of the kids and the participants of football in Tassie to attend the game and get an ability to showcase professional sport down there.”

It’s no secret that Tasmania is desperate for its own team and Pehlivanis is eager to one day see that happen.

“If that ever happens, us being there will only create a great rivalry and bring in another derby game with a team that people are going to adopt,” he said.

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One key aspect of this partnership is the pathways that are opening up for young footballers in the state.

“We want to build a proper pathway for their [Tasmania’s] kids. We want them to have an A-League and W-League club that they can align to in the near future,” said Pehlivanis.

With Calder United also travelling to Tasmania, Pehlivanis is excited about bringing a pathway to young women.

“We are desperate for a W-League side,” said Pehlivanis.

“We want to work with Calder so that hopefully in the future that will be one pathway, one brand.”

Calder United head coach Mark Torcaso says he has been working with Pehlivanis to bring another strong W-League side into the competition.

“We’re one of the most successful women’s clubs in the state,” said Torcaso.

“We believe that we’ve got the support, we’ve got the people, we’ve got the players. That’s all in place to help whatever licence Western United can get in the W-League.”

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