• FOOTBALL STARS BRENDON SANTALAB AND ELLIE CARPENTER NAMED ANZ STADIUM AMBASSADORS

06 Feb 2017

  • Western Sydney Wanderers’ experienced A-League striker Brendon Santalab and shooting W-League star Ellie Carpenter have been appointed ANZ Stadium Ambassadors.
  • Brendon and Ellie join a select group of elite athletes including Greg Inglis, Israel Folau, Josh Reynolds and Luke Brooks as Ambassadors.
  • They will help drive ANZ Stadium’s community and charity programs, and connect regularly with ANZ Stadium Members and Corporate Clients.

THEY are two outstanding athletes at vastly different stages of their careers.

But experienced striker BRENDON SANTALAB and rising star ELLIE CARPENTER share a passion for football . . . and for connecting communities and bringing people together in Greater Sydney and throughout Australia.

Santalab, 34, the super striker up front for the Wanderers in his 17th season of senior football, and Carpenter, 16, playing just her second season of W-League  and the youngest female to play for Australia at the Olympics, are the newest members of ANZ Stadium’s team of Sporting Ambassadors.

The popular Wanderers duo join South Sydney’s champion rugby league player Greg Inglis, the Wallabies’ rugby superstar Israel Folau, and star NRL players Josh Reynolds (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) and Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers), in an elite team of athletes who will work with ANZ Stadium on community and charity projects.

The Ambassadors help drive the Stadium’s charitable programs, raising much-needed funds for charity partners such as The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, while also connecting with ANZ Stadium Members and Corporate Clients.

Santalab has been a regular at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium since moving to Sydney from Wollongong in the year of the 2000 Sydney Games. After several high-profile playing stints overseas, Santalab has found a home in the twilight of his career at the Wanderers.

“The Stadium has played a big part in the lives of all Sydneysiders over the years with so many unforgettable events,” said Santalab, who lives close to the Stadium at West Pennant Hills.

“Among my personal favourite memories at the Stadium is playing against the David Beckham-led LA Galaxy in 2007 and hitting the post from 30m out in a game that had everything, including that amazing `Bend It Like Beckham’ goal.

“Playing for the Western Sydney Wanderers in the first Sydney Derby at ANZ Stadium in front of an A-League record crowd of 61,880 was also very special.

“We want the Sydney Derby – and the partnership between the Wanderers and ANZ Stadium – to continue to grow. We are on a journey together and football is the winner when we can showcase our game at the Olympic Stadium.

“I’m passionate about football and bringing people together, so it will be a real privilege to meet ANZ Stadium’s Members who love their sport, and also to get out into the community to help with schools and charity programs.”

ELLIE CARPENTER has a unique relationship with Sydney’s Olympic venue . . . she was an Olympics baby, born just a few months before Cathy Freeman raced into our hearts with her famous gold medal win at the Stadium.

Born in Cowra in south-west NSW to two physical education teachers, Ellie made her W-League debut for Western Sydney Wanderers in 2015.

Having represented Australia's youth teams on a number of occasions, Carpenter made her debut for Australian national team the Matildas at age 15. She was the youngest Australian Olympian at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and became the youngest female footballer to ever partake in the Olympics.

“I started playing football when I was three-years-old, kicking around the football with my older brother in the Under-5s at Cowra,” Ellie explained.

In 2010, Ellie starred as the only girl in an Australian Academy team of 21 (9-10 years) kids that toured Japan. When announced as the Player-of-the-Tournament she was identified as a wonderkid of the game and showered in rave reviews by football talent scouts.

“I always played against the boys growing up and they learned fairly quickly they didn’t have to go easy on me because I was a girl,” Ellie joked.

“I am really enjoying playing with the Wanderers in the W-League and with the Australian Matildas.

“Hopefully, I can continue to do well and will be considered for the 2018 Under-20s World Cup in France, the 2019 (Open) Women’s World Cup in France, and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

Ellie was in the crowd at ANZ Stadium the night Brendon Santalab lined up against David Beckham’s LA Galaxy . . . and again for that memorable Sydney Derby – Wanderers v Sydney FC – on 8 October this year.

“My family and I drove up from Cowra in 2007 to watch the Beckham game. We would often come up to Sydney for the big events at ANZ Stadium and it’s a privilege to now be part of the organisation.”

ANZ Stadium Members and Corporate Clients will have the opportunity to meet and talk with Western Sydney Wanderers players Brendon Santalab and Ellie Carpenter at upcoming events.

WITH a bumper calendar of sport and entertainment events ahead in 2017, there has never been a better time to be an ANZ Stadium Member. Check out the Membership offer here.

Impress and indulge your Corporate Clients by sharing an unforgettable event in ANZ Stadium's Centreline Seats Lounge & Bar, or by locking in Official Hospitality packages in a Private Suite, Zone Box or a table in the Trophy Room. Enquiries here.