Wanderers so fired up they ‘have to pull the handbrake up’ ahead of historic Sydney Derby

Unbeaten Western Sydney Wanderers are so revved up for their first Sydney Derby at Bankwest Stadium that Dean Heffernan’s side ‘have to pull the handbrake up at training’.

The Harbour City rivalry will reach all new heights on Friday, 20 December at 5pm AEDT, when the Red and Black take on the Sky Blues in the brand new stadium in their spiritual home of Parramatta.

Western Sydney have recorded their best-ever Westfield W-League start in their homecoming season, collecting 10 points from four games under Heffernan – more than doubling their tally for the whole of 2018/19.

Sydney FC are undefeated in the past eight clashes against Wanderers, winning six in a row, and have not lost to their city rivals in more than five years, as they enter enemy territory looking to maintain their Derby dominance.

Heffernan is well aware that this generation of Red and Black players can break new ground by getting one over their historically more successful neighbours and striking first blood in the all-new Wanderland.

“Every week we know we have a chance as a team to make history,” Heffernan said in a press conference on Wednesday.

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“Regardless of the result, we are going to create history on Friday. 

“It’s a Derby and everyone knows what Derbies are like to play in. We will definitely be up for it.

“It’s a big game and the team is ready. 

“If anything we have to pull the handbrake up at training because the team is so ready.”

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Sydney FC bounced back from their first defeat of the campaign with a 2-0 win against Newcastle Jets last week, as second travels to face third in Round 6. 

Coming out of their bye week, Wanderers have had 13 days to focus on their preparations to face the Champions, but Heffernan admits it is a clash everyone has been thinking about for a lot longer.

“It’s a huge occasion and it’s one that we had penciled in at the start of the season,” Heffernan said.

“Sydney has been in form and a side that we have a lot of respect for. But I really feel we have a team that can push them all the way.

“There’s something about our team. We have a lot of resilience and character. We enjoy the underdog tag and we look forward to the challenge on Friday.”

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