Welcome to Western Sydney

Western Sydney has long been a nursery for some of the greatest talents the game has had in this country, it's fitting they will finally have a team of their own.

With no hyperbole intended, it is safe to say Football Federation Australia-s decision to announce a Western Sydney team is one of the most significant decisions in the history of the Hyundai A-League.

I come from the area, playing my early club football in the famous old Granville and Districts competition, and I know as well as anyone how important it is for Western Sydney to have an A-League team of its own.

As a teenager I used to head out to Marconi Stadium to watch the Stallions go around, but like so many football fans I dreamed of the day when a unified, all-encompassing club would represent the sprawling region in its entirety.

Now the FFA is set to make that a reality and it-s a boon not only to football fans in Western Sydney but right across the A-League.

The details will no doubt become clearer as the week progresses but already speculation is rife about some key facets of the club.

Where will it be based, for example? Will it play out of just the one stadium or will matches be shared around?

What of the club-s colours and name? And will a local get the nod as coach or learn the ropes from a well-sourced foreign import?

The answers will be revealed in due course but until then there will be a frenzy of interest in everything to do with the A-League-s newest club.

And while it-s a region which needs to be treated with consideration when starting up any new enterprise, FFA had no time to waste given the likely demise of Gold Coast United.

With a new television deal imminent and one of the game-s heartlands crying out for representation, a Western Sydney team makes perfect sense.

The timeframe may be tight but greater feats have been accomplished in shorter periods and FFA has no doubt learned from some of its expansion mistakes in the past.

What should really excite football fans in Sydney is how the addition of a second team will energise the city.

Just as Melbourne Heart-s entry into the A-League heralded an intense and much-loved derby with cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory, so too will a Western Sydney side establish a fierce rivalry with the well-entrenched Sydney FC.

Suddenly fans west of Strathfield are faced with a choice of where to pledge their allegiance.

Whatever their choice, football is the overall winner.

And if fans get out and support a Western Sydney team en masse it will throw down the gauntlet to the NRL and AFL and remind the two codes the round-ball game is very much a force to be reckoned with.

After all, the AFL has recently thrown considerable sums of money into its GWS Giants franchise despite the sport enjoying little traction in the area.

If the careers of current A-League stars and long-time Socceroos stalwarts Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton have taught us anything, it-s that football runs deep in the veins of those in Western Sydney.

It-s about time fans in the region had an A-League club to call their own and from the 2012-13 season, that looks set to become a reality.