Media manager's death motivates Wanderers
Western Sydney skipper Michael Beauchamp says the sudden death of team media manager Rod Allen gives the A-League minor premiers added motivation to bring more success to the club in the finals.
Allen, a prominent public relations consultant and former sports journalist, died early on Sunday morning after falling from a cliff at Sydney's Cockatoo Island where he had been celebrating a former colleague's 50th birthday.
"It's shocked all of us," Beauchamp said on Tuesday at the team's first media conference since Allen's death.
"I think everyone's started thinking about the way they spent their last moment with him.
"I got a text from him just the day before.
"Obviously everyone knows him as a true professional, a great guy and our thoughts are definitely with his family.
"He's a big loss to the club. This club has that family environment and he definitely was a member of that."
Beauchamp said Allen's passing had put things into perspective for both players and staff at the tight-knit club, who on Friday clinched the Premiers' Plate in their maiden season with a 3-0 thumping of Newcastle Jets.
"It gives us more motivation as well throughout the rest of the season," he said.
"Everything can get taken away from you so fast and that's why I think the motivation's there even more so now because ... you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow.
"You can basically only take for what is now and that's why we're going out there ... with a bit more of that in the back of the head."
Coach Tony Popovic echoed his captain's sentiments, saying everyone had been deeply saddened by the news.
"It's hit the club quite hard," he told reporters.
"He was a very important part of this club and it's quite strange not having him here today telling me what to expect.
"I certainly personally miss him and everyone does at the club."
The Wanderers' executive chairman Lyall Gorman said Allen's passing hurt a lot.
"But, then again, we've been climbing mountains since day one with the history of the club and this one will make us stronger," Gorman told AAP.
"We'll link arms and confront the challenges that are coming up together and we'll come out of it a bigger and better club."