A-League: Wanderers to host Sydney FC in derby

Wanderers coach Marko Rudan will unashamedly use the divide between Sydney’s upper-class east and “downtrodden” west to motivate his players ahead of Saturday night’s derby at CommBank Stadium.

Despite being a former Sydney FC player, Rudan’s heart bleeds red and black as he proudly represents the “blue collar” supporters of Western Sydney.

The Wanderers hold derby bragging rights after beating Sydney FC 1-0 at Allianz Stadium in November, and Rudan again wants to have the last laugh this weekend over Sky Blues coach and former teammate Steve Corica.

“When you understand the area and the people, it’s different,” Rudan said.
“I’ve walked through the streets, I’ve played for Sydney FC, so I understand that area as well. (There is) a divide, and I speak to my players, and I educate them on the divide.

“There’s a clear disparity between the people that live in the east and the people that live in the west. It’s blue collar (west) versus the white collar (east).

“I’ve said it before, and I said it after the game when we beat Sydney FC on their turf as well – this is for the people.

“They feel downtrodden, they feel like the lesser of the two in society as well. It happened when I was growing up and it certainly is the case right now.

“You’re looking at an area that’s done it tough. It’s something that sort of stays with you as you go through life

“It makes you stronger, you’re able to overcome obstacles a lot easier … and that’s what our people are about.”

Rudan also took aim at the Sky Blues for the problems Wanderers supporters had with getting into Allianz Stadium for the previous derby due to issue with turnstiles.

“That won’t be the case for the travelling Sydney FC fans. We wouldn’t want to play those kinds of games,” he said.

Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne said the Sky Blues intended to “put things right” on Saturday night.

“In a football season you can’t dwell on things too long, (but) when you think back (on the 1-0 derby loss) I guess it does hurt,” said Socceroos and former Wanderers custodian Redmayne.

Sky Blues captain Alex Wilkinson said the derby meant just us much to Sydney FC players.

“The majority of squad have been together a long time and played in quite a lot of derbies, so they know what it means to the club” the veteran defender said.

“The first 20 minutes is always fast and at a strong pace. It’s up to us to settle down and play our football and if we do that well enough, we will hopefully win the game.”

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