After a disastrous 2018/19 season in which they finished bottom of the W-League table, Western Sydney Wanderers has revealed a new coaching staff for the 2019/20 season – featuring names that will be very familiar to any resident of Wanderland.
Former A-League Wanderer and current youth coach Dean Heffernan will take over the red and black reigns for the 2019/20 season, with inaugural Wanderers captain Michael Beauchamp and existing W-League assistant Catherine Cannuli set to serve as assistants.
A two-time Socceroo, Heffernan spent the 2013/14 season with the Wanderers before retiring from professional football. Since then the 38-year-old has held a number of roles in the highly successful Wanderers’ academy; most recently taking on Head Coaching responsibilities with the U20s side and serving as an assistant with the senior NPL and Y-League groups.
— WS Wanderers FC (@wswanderersfc) April 24, 2019
“It’s an honour and privilege to be given this opportunity to work with the Wanderers W-League team,” Heffernan said upon his appointment.
“Having played and coached at this club already I know the desire for success that exists in our club and our membership and fanbase.
“With Cath and Michael, we have a group of people that not only have played at the elite level but have also progressed through the youth development coaching pathway and understand the culture and expectation of this club.
“We want to build a winning mentality and to harness and develop the elite local talent Western Sydney has to offer.”
A four-time Matilda and member of the Wanderers W-League side from 2012 to 2014, Cannuli will retain her assistant’s position after being a member of former coach Dan Barret’s staff in 2018/19.
She will juggle her responsibilities with her role as the Women’s Technical Director of the Southern Districts Football Association.
“I’ve been with the Wanderers for many years now and the work happening on and off the pitch is impressive,” she said.
“With our new training facility in Blacktown and games to be played at Bankwest Stadium and Marconi Stadium, we’ll have the best facilities in the league and a great opportunity ahead of us.”
Capped 22 times for the Socceroos in his playing days – including a full 90 minutes in Australia’s win over Serbia at the 2010 World Cup – Beauchamp recently joined Heffernan as an assistant with the Wanderers U20 side and will now follow him to the W-League.
“I believe that with Dean and Cath we will create a very strong working environment and get the best out of each other and our group of players,” said Beauchamp
“I’m excited for the opportunity and can’t wait for the hard work to begin.”
The new staff will have their work cut out for them in turning around the Wanderers, who recorded only a single win – a round twelve 4-1 win over Adelaide United – in their campaign.
A round six 2-2 draw with Canberra United provided the side’s only other point of the campaign, meaning they finished nine points adrift of second last Canberra comes seasons end.