Football 3 years ago

WSW will gel by A-League start: Castelen

  • WSW will gel by A-League start: Castelen

Western Sydney Wanderers winger Romeo Castelen says major squad changes at the club won't be a drag on the club's A-League fortunes.

WSW coach Tony Popovic gutted the side that lifted the Asian Champions League trophy in December, with 18 players having packed their bags since the end of last season.

Castelen said the long preseason meant the new signings, such as midfielders Mitch Nichols and Andreu and marquee striker Federico Piovaccari, would have enough time to gel with the squad.

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"That's the beauty of the A-League, you have a very long preseason," he said.

"So if you get your squad together very quickly you can build to something for the first game."

The Wanderers finished a lowly 9th in 2014/15 after Asian Champions League travel commitments left the squad exhausted.

A number of key starting players, including striker Tomi Juric, midfielders Iacopo La Rocca and Mateo Poljak and defender Matthew Spiranovic have moved on to pastures anew, leaving Popovic with a blank slate upon which to build a new team.

Castelen said effectively replacing those players would be critical for the squad's revival.

"Of course, I'm a player, I hope we get good players to have a good season," he said.

"But the main concern is for the bosses upstairs to bring good players in so we can have a good squad that can compete."

The Red and Black have gone some way towards achieving that with the impending arrival of ex-Sampdoria and Eibar striker Federico Piovaccari.

Castelen said the team's new marquee was an unknown quantity but would hopefully lead the line with aplomb.

"The coach and the directors, they do good research so they will know his quality," he said.

"He's a striker so he should bang in the goals for us.

"But I think all the players have to give their contribution to the club."

The Wanderers will play Mt Druitt in a preseason friendly before jetting off to Coffs Harbour for camp and another friendly against Central Coast Mariners on August 7.

They'll return to Sydney for their FFA Cup match against Brisbane Roar on August 11.

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