Westside Strikers are stepping up!

January 2024 in Events & Local Area

"This year was one of the best the club has ever had!"  

Lucy Rendina is the Secretary of the Westside Strikers Football Club, home to a large community of novice and experienced soccer players. We sat down to discuss how the club fared this year (2023) and what the goals are for 2024.  

"This year we had a lot of teams in the B group, whereas now we’re seeing that next year, a lot of those teams will be moving up to the A group. With the amount of games they won during the season, including reaching and winning finals and how well they’ve played, they’re all stepping up!"  

As Secretary, Lucy is the administrative centre of the club, registering new players and their parents.  

"It gets to a point where people ask ‘Is that blonde lady here? Lucy?’ I’m the one that people want to talk with," Lucy laughs.   

"I’ve been part of the club for a long time. My son plays for the club and my husband is a coach."  

Diversity and inclusion are key principles at the heart of the Westside Strikers Football Club— and it’s not only Lucy who thinks so.  

"Even now I’m getting emails from parents and new coaches saying, 'Thank you for the trials, you guys made us feel like we’re already part of the family'".  

Lucy believes it’s the culture of the club that creates a positive atmosphere for the players and their families.  

"There’s no politics, there’s no issues. I make sure things run smoothly. 

“I also want to credit the great work that Club President Sam Raniolo and our amazing committee members do here; running fundraising, hospitality, and many other things that keep the club going.” 

As an integral part of Melbourne's west and north-west sporting community, the Westside Strikers receive an annual sponsorship from the Modeina estate, operated by the Dennis Family Corporation.   

"The sponsorship that we received from the Dennis Family Corporation goes back into replacing the equipment because the equipment doesn't last forever," Lucy said   

"Without it, we wouldn't be able to continue."  

There's no understating the Westside Strikers Football Club’s recent success   

They’re coming off a brilliant season in which several teams won leagues or ranked first in their levels. Some teams even played in state champions, two won the state finals and three teams finished the season as runners-up.   

With 41 teams for the 2024 season and their 10 year anniversary approaching, the club would love to continue expanding but is limited by space and facilities. They're rallying the local council for more ground allocation.   

"I want the council to help us expand because if they can expand, we can get more people into the sport," insists Lucy.   

"That’s what I want – the opportunity for more kids to play."  

Beyond expansion Lucy's goals for the club are clear: welcoming the new all-abilities team and encouraging more women to play.  

In addition to the seven girl's teams added this year, the club is hoping to get more girls signing up in the new year.  

"We accept players from all backgrounds," insists Lucy.   

"I want people to know that even if they've never played soccer before and don't have any experience in the sport, they're welcome at the Westside Strikers."  

In the 2024 season the Westside Strikers, the family-orientated club, encourages new members to join regardless of experience as a great way to integrate into the community.   

Organised sports are an easy way to make friends fast, even amongst strangers, and particularly in a new environment. Team sports not only encourage friendships amongst players but also provide a great opportunity for parents to socialise on the sidelines.   

Football, more commonly known in Australia as soccer, is a universally recognised sport, played across the globe. The International Association Football Federation, also known as FIFA, has more members than the United Nations.  

Lucy celebrates the strong diversity within the club. 

“Next year we’re introducing multicultural days, dedicating specific days to a different culture because we have such a diverse group of players," she said.  

"I love that there’s such a wide variety of nationalities and backgrounds – I love it!"  

For more information on the Westside Strikers, head online to their website or Facebook page, updated regularly with statistics and opportunities.  

Come by and support the club at their home ground, Taylors Hill Recreation Reserve at 121 Calder Park Dr, Taylors Hill.