July 10, 2015 10:36:38 UK
Being able to concentrate purely on the A-League this season will be good news for Western Sydney Wanderers says new signing Scott Jamieson.
Wanderers are using this off-season to regroup after falling off their perch in their last league campaign.
Tony Popovic’s side reached the Grand Final in their first two seasons, winning the Premiership in their debut campaign, but they hit the buffers in 2014-15.
It was pretty clear that the schedule they had last season was a vigorous one and they found it hard to adjust.
The demands of a fixture schedule that included two Asian Champions League campaigns and a trip to the Club World Cup in Morocco ruined their hopes of success in the A-League and they only just avoided finishing bottom.
Popovic has taken the opportunity to undertake an overhaul of his squad, with former Perth Glory left-back Jamieson one of six players to arrive while 14 have left.
Jamieson says not having to deal with an ACL campaign alongside the A-League season will make a difference, and the squad are being prepared well for 2015-16.
“That’s something I’ve spoken to a few of the players about since I got here,” said the 26-year-old. “This is their first proper block of a pre-season training preparation and they’re enjoying it.
“The club has put together a schedule where we don’t really go overseas for any pre-season tournaments or anything, so the players are quite happy about that. It was pretty clear that the schedule they had last season was a vigorous one and they found it hard to adjust to it.”
The emphasis at the start of pre-season training has been on conditioning, ahead of their first game in the FFA Cup at home to Brisbane Roar on 11th August.
Wanderers are 2.37 to beat the Roar, who are 2.75 with the draw 3.25.
Jamieson’s form with Perth last season saw him voted into the Professional Footballers Australia A-League team of the year for the second time.
“I was pleasantly surprised with my inclusion,” he said. “I thought I was solid without being spectacular last season. It’s one of the big things, being voted on by your peers, so I’m pretty chuffed.”
Western Sydney are 15.00 to win the FFA Cup.
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