July 24, 2015 11:36:16 UK
Vice-captain Mark Bridge hopes for new signings at Western Sydney Wanderers, to mirror the improvements the club has made off the field.
The current Asian Champions League holders, who are 13.00 to win the Grand Final, have had a monumental clear-out since the end of last season, with 18 players departing. It’s left them short on numbers, although they still have plenty of time to recruit ahead of the start of the new campaign on 8th October.
Bridge is confident coach Tony Popovic will be busy bolstering the squad over the next few weeks, adding to the five signings made already. Besides recruiting goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne from Melbourne City and defender Scott Neville from Newcastle Jets, Wanderers have added three midfielders in Mitch Nichols, Andreu and Jacob Pepper.
“Popa keeps everything close to his chest; we often don’t know who’s coming in until I see them on the training paddock,” said Bridge. “But whoever we bring in is going to be quality, but we would hope there is still a few more coming in.”
We often don’t know who’s coming in until I see them on the training paddock.
Western Sydney have strengthened their backroom staff by hiring three new coaches, including former Barcelona youth coach Andres Carrasco. Former Socceroos Hayden Foxe and Zeljko Kalac have also joined, and Bridge says they are making a difference.
Talking of Carrasco, the striker said: “There’s been a couple of little things in terms of drills; he’s fitted in perfectly, and obviously he’s a very smart man, looking at his CV.
“He’s a good addition and I’m sure the boys are buzzing that he’s on board.”
Bridge admitted last season had been “a nightmare for all involved” as the club finished next to bottom in the league, but says with just once competition to concentrate on in the new campaign they are confident of doing better.
Wanderers are 2.37 to win their first game of the A-League season against Brisbane Roar, who are 2.75 with the draw 3.25.
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