Socceroos star Bailey Wright says Team 11 will cultivate a tribal following in south-east Victoria by being a club that represents a specific part of the state.
And the Bristol City club captain also said the south-east’s A-League and W-League club has a unique opportunity to create local heroes by promoting talent from its own backyard.
Reiterating his desire to one day return home to play for a south-east Victorian A-League club, former Langwarrin junior Wright said he would have loved to have seen such a club created when he was a kid.
“When I was a kid my local club was the team I played for, it wasn’t professional, it didn’t have anywhere the infrastructure that this club will have,” Wright said.
“So my local professional team was an AFL team. I had a season ticket there and went to those games.
“I was crying out for a professional football side, but didn’t have it. When it’s on your doorstep it’s something that you hold closer to your heart.
“It’s tribal, it’s what sport is all about. You want teams from your community playing against other teams in the state and interstate.”
If Team 11’s bid is successful, the option is open to Wright to return to his home town of Mornington and make the relatively short commute each day to the club’s Casey Fields training base and home ground in Dandenong – highlighting the ease of accessibility of the club to all parts of the south-east.
“It’s a 30-40 minute drive and you’re there and you’re living somewhere beautiful,” he said.
“Having been in England for so long, you see when you’ve got local players playing for the local team it makes it that bit more special.
“At Bristol I know that if you’re a local lad you’re adored, it was the same at Preston, you got that extra special treatment from the fans because they felt that connection, that you’d been there and knew what it was like to grow up in the region.”
Wright, along with Socceroos teammate and fellow south-east local Jackson Irvine, have been prominent backers of Team 11’s bid for more than a year.
And the dogged defender said he is growing increasingly confident about the bid’s chances of success.
“This is something community needs.
“It feels like it’s going to happen. The community feel, the future pathways for boys and girls, the plans, for me tick every box possible.”