West Adelaide back where they belong

Thirty-five years to the day that West Adelaide claimed the National Soccer League title the club added another landmark moment to their proud history.

Thirty-five years to the day that West Adelaide claimed the National Soccer League title the club added another landmark moment to their proud history.

The senior side secured promotion back to the top-tier of South Australian football having only been revived five years earlier.

Founded by the local Greek community in 1962, the senior club had faded away as the NSL came to an end but is now on track to return to its former glory.

Having played in the A-League and around the world, West Adelaide coach Ross Aloisi has now taken his side to the South Australian National Premier League where they will play in 2014.

“It is very exciting for the club as a whole,” said coach Ross Aloisi.

“The club dissolved after the NSL and only started up again five years ago so to have achieved promotion in both of the past two seasons is a fantastic achievement for all involved.

“It has been a lot of hard work but it has all been worth it now that we are back in the top division.”

The club have been dominant throughout 2013 with Aloisi putting their undefeated season to date down to a number of factors.

“We started pre-season training a lot earlier than most other clubs and have continued working hard as we aim to make the club as professional as we can.

“The club has a lot of great juniors that have come through and our captain Paul Pezos and Matthew Kemp, who both played in the A-League, have been brilliant in helping us gain promotion.

“We now want to ensure that we keep performing and take out these last three matches."

Another factor for the team-s success is the loyal supporter base that has ridden the highs and lows of the club over the past decades.

“It feels like the old days are back at the club as there is a heap of excitement around due to the fact that we are back at the top which is something our fans have been craving.

“We still have a lot of Greek support but are now also very multicultural with people of all walks of life supporting the club.

“We think this will now help boost our supporter base again."

West Adelaide's focus is now split between finishing the season unbeaten as well as building towards ongoing success as they prepare for life at the top.

“The club is now looking to recruit some good young South Australian players for next season.

“We definitely need to strengthen our squad and we are already looking into this now well before the start of next season.

“It will be tough at first but we are hoping to consolidate our position in the top level over the next couple of years and then build from there.”

The move back to the top grade will renew one of the nation-s top football rivalries as Aloisi-s side will again come face-to-face with the Italian backed Adelaide City.

“The first game of the season is penciled in to be against our old rivals which will be a massive match.

“Nothing is better than playing in front a packed house with players lifting to the occasion and that is what I am expecting when we take on Adelaide City.

“There could be anywhere between five to ten thousand supporters there and will no doubt attract a lot of neutrals. It will be something special.”

The exciting news kept coming for the club as they secured a new ground that they will call home from 2015 onwards.

“This announcement has been huge for the club who has been working towards securing a new stadium since they started up again five years ago.

“We will now have a ground with proper club rooms and a synthetic pitch which be brilliant for players and the fans in the stands.

“It has been a really special achievement for those that have been working hard behind the scenes over the past five years.”

Having just been named the coach of Adelaide United-s W-League side while continuing to coach on at West Adelaide it appears to be a busy time ahead for the former Socceroo and Olympian.

“I-m focused on finishing out this season before I start with the Lady Reds and then I-ll return to West Adelaide for next season.

“I still have a lot to learn in coaching and want to finish my A license shortly. I will then hopefully get my pro license and see where I go to from there.”

Aloisi and his team will hoping the loyal West Adelaide fans will be out in force as their tilt at an undefeated season continues this Saturday when they take on the second-placed Pirates at John Hart Reserve Ethelton.