Football 1 year ago

Fast Adelaide Oval will suit WSW: Castelen

  • Fast Adelaide Oval will suit WSW: Castelen

    ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Nathan Burns of Australia and team mates embrace following a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification match between the Australia Socceroos and Tajikistan at the Adelaide Oval on March 24, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Hat-trick hero Romeo Castelen reckons Adelaide Oval's slick surface might help Western Sydney's quest for A-League title glory, in a grand final shaping as the Dutchman's last chance to press his case for a contract extension.

Castelen was the star of the Wanderers' 5-4 semi-final triumph over Brisbane, scoring a thunderous free-kick to start a phenomenal fightback from 3-0 down before adding another two.

The 32-year-old winger described it as "really the best game I've ever played".

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"I've never been in a game like that before," he said.

"You can check my records - I've played big games against Dortmund (which was) amazing. We (Hamburg) won 3-0.

"But this was a special game, a game that can bring you to the one-off final ... my first hat-trick as well.

"Our dream is still alive, now we put this behind us and move on because it's not finished yet."


The Wanderers have seven days to recover before Sunday's tough attempt to knock Adelaide United off their Premiers Plate perch and claim the championship that's eluded them in two grand final appearances spanning the last three years.

They'll do so at Adelaide Oval, the venue with a reputation as one of the hardest and fastest pitches in Australia.

While the squad's unfamiliarity with the surface could hand the Reds the edge, Castelen believed it would suit Western Sydney's fluid game.

"If you watch our football, we will be happy with that," he said.

"We always play possession-based football, keeping the ball and moving the ball quickly."

A speedy contest will match well with Castelen's formidable pace, and present him with another opportunity to show coach Tony Popovic why he should be re-signed for next season.

The former Feyenoord forward is coming off-contract and his presence at Parramatta beyond his second season remains uncertain.

For much of this campaign the injury-prone star has struggled to finish chances, though he has enjoyed a recent mini-spree in the lead-up to Sunday's semi-final heroics.

Popovic branded Castelen's performance against Brisbane "outstanding", and praised him for stepping up over the last few weeks.

But his player was still none the wiser about his future.

"At the moment I really don't know," Castelen said.

"I just want to focus on my football - it's finals.

"What happens after we will see, but the people know how I play.

"I always play for the fans and carry myself with pride for this club.

"We have a big game ahead, and after that the talks are always open."

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