Football 2 years ago

Popa's Spanish revolution not planned

  • Popa's Spanish revolution not planned

Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic says the new Spanish flavour at Wanderland is not by design, but rather a byproduct of the Eurozone's financial woes.

As part of an enormous squad upheaval in the off-season, Popovic has signed three players - Andreu, Dimas Delgado and Alberto Aguilar - with extensive experience in Spain's top two leagues while hiring another Spaniard, Andres Carrasco, as an assistant coach.

Fans are set to get an early glimpse of their potential for the club with all three Spanish players in line to face Brisbane Roar in Tuesday night's FFA Cup tie at Pepper Stadium in Penrith.

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But Popovic denied suggestions he had taken a leaf out of A-League rivals Adelaide United's book by looking to the Iberian Peninsula for on-field inspiration.

"I wouldn't say it's planned," Popovic said.

"We look all over the world all the time.

"Two years ago I went to Spain and tried to sign a couple of players.

"Maybe with the economic situation in Europe now we have a chance to sign them. Two years ago when I tried, it didn't work out."

The Wanderers have also signed Federico Piovaccari as their marquee player but Popovic said the Italian striker was still building his fitness base and would not play against the Roar.

Both sides are still very early in their pre-seasons and will be missing key players due to injury - Western Sydney's Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Jonathan Aspropotamitis are currently sidelined, while Brisbane will be without the likes of Luke DeVere, Henrique, Michael Theo and Steven Lustica.

Roar coach John Aloisi says his side's pre-season has been productive despite the ownership saga that threatens to see the club wound up by August 19, if a $60,000 debt with the Queensland Rugby Union is not settled.

"We all know it's not ideal to have the club up in the air a little bit," Aloisi said.

"It will come to a head, it has to.

"It's out of our hands, it's for the people upstairs. On the football side we can only make sure the environment's good for the players, and it is."

In Tuesday night's other FFA Cup matches, Central Coast Mariners host Wellington Phoenix, the new-look Newcastle Jets take on Perth Glory, and the Cairns-based Far North Queensland Heat travels south for a meeting with Victorian state-league side Oakleigh Cannons.

FFA CUP ROUND OF 32 - Match day 4

Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar at Pepper Stadium

Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix at Central Coast Stadium

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory at Magic Park

Oakleigh Cannons v Far North Queensland Heat at Jack Edwards Reserve

*Kick-off time for all games 7.30pm AEST

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