Motocross rides all over A-League plans

Western United coach Mark Rudan has an A-League round-one appointment with former club Wellington.
Western United coach Mark Rudan has an A-League round-one appointment with former club Wellington.

The Crusty Demons have ruined their chance of a home debut but A-League new boys Western United are otherwise happy with their first fixture list.

Mark Rudan's side will begin life with a trip to face his old team Wellington Phoenix before hosting Perth Glory in round two.

Western United wanted to start life with a big bang at Geelong's GMHBA Stadium, but found the motocross outfit had a long-standing booking.

Instead, United will head across the ditch, where Rudan is assured a noisy welcoming party.

The 43-year-old spent a season in Wellington but left the Nix mid-contract to join the A-League startups, along with veteran Andrew Durante, goalkeeper of the year Filip Kurto and midfielder Max Burgess.

A-League chief Greg O'Rourke said he was delighted to send Western United to Wellington in round one.

"Whether or not they boo Mark for 94 minutes I'm not too sure but we want to bring (him) back to Wellington," O'Rourke said.

"The coach that was successful last year but then relocated and took a number of players with him."

Rudan said he unperturbed by the fixture.

"That's just part of the draw. It doesn't bother me," he told AAP.

"In an ideal world we would have loved to have the first game at home but there's the motocross."

Rudan played in Sydney FC's inaugural A-League fixture back in 2005 and wants a similar feeling for his new club's big kick-off.

"We played Melbourne Victory at Sydney Football Stadium ... and as we walked through the tunnel, I turned to Musky (Victory captain Kevin Muscat), we could hear the roar of the crowd and he said 'how good's this?'"

"There was a buzz and excitement back then and there's a sense of excitement around our football club as well.

"People want to be part of it and that's great."

United, which will move into a privately owned stadium in Melbourne's West within three seasons, will play nine matches in Geelong and four at Ballarat's Mars Stadium in their first campaign.

The requirements of AFL club Geelong, GMHBA Stadium's key tenant, means Western will front-load most of its fixtures at the 36,000-capacity venue.

United has six matches in the opening nine rounds at the renovated stadium, and will also host Adelaide United there in an Australia Day clash.

The flipside is just two home matches, both to be played in Ballarat, in the final seven rounds.

It remains to be seen whether Western United would be permitted to play any home finals in Geelong.

Western United also confirmed that an approach came from Tasmania to play at least one home game on the football-starved Apple Isle, but it fell through.

Australian Associated Press