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Do you call it a derby?

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Friday brings about our second encounter against the A-League’s nomadic newcomers Western United, who’re stuck bouncing between “home” fixtures at Geelong and Ballarat until their stadium plans become a reality.

Despite the apparent efforts of the league to market this clash as otherwise, City vs Western United currently doesn’t feel like a true rivalry of any sort, nor does the match merit the build-up of a typical "derby" game.

It‘s certainly not a case of playing a local rival, as being based out of a regional centre, Western United aren’t exactly a local team for us.

I imagine this is how Sydney and WSW feel about the Central Coast Mariners. Whilst they share a state, they are nowhere near each other and are preoccupied with their own bigger rivalry, which rings true for us also.

Being a club in their infancy, they have not yet truly established an identity and are struggling off-field to garner interest in their team. Both of these are challenges that you would expect a club in its first season to be having, leading to the young club claiming a rivalry with both Melbourne sides to drum up interest levels.

They have had two games against Victory already and those games, whilst still feeling like a normal game, had a little bit more spice with the former Victory target man Besart Berisha lining up for WU providing a storyline that could be exploited by fans and Fox Sports. Victory has also previously played games in Geelong which also facilitates a different story about the game.

We, however, have no real ties to the Geelong area or even the west of Melbourne, which only strengthens the #notaderby sentiment towards the fixture.

Personally, this is just another game. It just so happens that the other team is also from Victoria.

Do you think this is a derby? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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