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Popovic: We will be competitive

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Jun 2012

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Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic believes the A-League’s newest club is well on track to establishing a competitive playing roster.

On an historic day for the newly-named club, the Wanderers unveiled their hooped black and red playing strip as well as their first three player signings at their home ground Parramatta Stadium.

Former Newcastle Jets defender Tarek Elrich and youngsters Aaron Mooy and Kwabena Appiah-Kubi are the first players to be confirmed as part of the new club, with more singings expected in coming days.

Popovic will now work overtime to put his squad together with just over three months until they play their first competitive match in their A-League season-opener against the Central Coast.

The former Socceroos defender, who has just returned from a few weeks in Europe where he was believed to be looking at potential recruits, said finding the right player to suit his style of game would be more important than bringing in an international marquee star.

“Foreign players play a key role in A-League but you need to pick the right ones,” Popovic told reporters on Monday.

“If we don’t feel that a foreign player can add value to this club then we’ll be more than happy to play local players whether they’re state league players or domestic players from A-League.

“You don’t want to rush into just signing numbers.

“We want to pick the right players for the club and that’s takes a bit of time and planning but we’re on the right track.”

Asked about the expectations he had on his side in their debut season, a coy Popovic said: “The one thing you can be sure of is we’ll definitely be competitive in that first game against Central Coast, that I can assure everyone.

“There is a bit of unknown, there’ll be bumps along the way but we’re very confident we’ll put a team together that the people of this region will be proud of.

“We have time but it’s challenging with not having a lot of players in training from day one (next month) but we accept that and we won’t make any excuses.

“We’ll work along and get them ready for the start.”

Popovic said the club’s first three signings – who are all western Sydney juniors – proved the club was serious about giving locals a chance to be a part of the new franchise.

Exciting midfielder Mooy, who has joined the club from Scottish side St Mirren, said of the chance to play in the inaugural Wanderers squad: “I grew up around here all my life so it’s very special for a club to be around the area and I’m happy to be a part of it.

“It great to finally get a western Sydney club in the A-League and all the young kids growing up in the area have something to look forward to now.

“I just can’t wait to play in front of them and hopefully impress.”

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