Turnstiles run hot for heroes

TODAY western Sydney, tomorrow the world.

That could very well be the new motto for the Western Sydney Wanderers as they prepare for yet another climb up the ladder of success.

This one is reward for last year's A-League success and will see Tony Popovic's western suburbs heroes take on the best Asia has to offer in the 2014 Asian Champions League.

Wanderers fans will be treated to some great Champions League games at Pirtek Stadium in February, March and April, and, judging by the phenomenal success of the club just two years into its history, few would bet against them doing better than any other A-League club so far.

After last year's massive effort, when the club was beaten in the grand final but had earlier snatched the premiers' plate — the minor premiership — everyone just expects this incredible club to succeed at everything it tries its hand at.

Everyone has seen its fan army also known as the Red and Black Bloc march en mass to the club's home ground on match day and the incredible noise they make for the entire 90 minutes of the game.

Then there's the numbers which add to the evidence of massive success.

In their first year in the 2012-13 A-League, the Wanderers turnstiles turned a total of 235,991 times.

There'd be European soccer clubs envious of such figures.

Their average attendance this season is 15,744 (fourth in the league).

But wait, there's more:

The club has a massive 16,521 season ticket members; out-of-towner and supporter members currently sits at 870 (which is a paid, priority access membership).

It's no wonder most outsiders would have no hesitation in saying the Western Sydney Wanderers have been an overnight success story.

But you won't find their executive chairman Lyall Gorman agreeing with such a proposition.

"Success is measured over many years, not after one or two," he told a recent breakfast gathering in the western suburbs.

Gorman explained that long term success was part of the Wanderers' strategy.

Gorman said that the club was also trying to establish a culture at the Wanderers that reflected the values of the western Sydney community.

"In other words, working together as a group, aspirational and not intimidated by outsiders," he said.

"Yes, part of that vision is to establish a world-class football club. ut we're not just building a football club at the Wanderers.

"We want to have relevance in our community, the western suburbs of Sydney, we want to have social outcomes, social good, where we operate.

"Our [key performance indicators] are not just about winning the A-League competition; we want to have excellence in everything we do on and off the field."

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