Perth Glory sign Irish international

Perth Glory have pulled off a major coup with the signing of Irish international Andy Keogh.

Perth Glory have pulled off a major coup with the signing of Irish international Andy Keogh.

Perth Glory have announced the signing of Republic of Irelandinternational Andy Keogh on a two-year contract with a further one year option that will see the striker wear the number 9 shirt at Glory until the end of the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League season.
Dublin born Keogh started his footballing career as a junior at Leeds United, before making a move to Scunthorpe United in 2005 that saw him make 86 appearances and score 19 goals. In 2007 he completed a transfer to Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers for an estimated A$1.0 million.
Keogh went on to make 118 appearances for Wolves and was a key member of the team that won promotion to the Barclays Premier League for the 2010/2011 season. He has made over 250 appearances in the English Premier League and Championship over the past 7 years for Wolves, Cardiff City, Bristol City, Millwall and Blackpool.
The 28-year-old finished the recent 2013/14 Championship season at Blackpool, with goals against Nottingham Forest and Wigan securing the club’s position in the Championship for the 2014/15 season.
Keogh made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland in 2007 and has already achieved 30 caps and scored two goals including the equaliser in Giovanni Trapattoni’s first match in charge, a 1–1 draw with Serbia in a friendly match at Croke Park, Dublin, a goal that won the FAI Goal of the Year Award.
In 2013 he was called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for six matches including games against England, Poland, and Spain, with his last appearance being against Wales in August 2013.
His move to Glory will not be the first time that he has played at nib Stadium, having made a “Man-of-the-Match” appearance for Wolves against Glory in 2009, in a game that saw Tando Velaphi pull off a spectacular save from his 40 yard second-half half volley and a driving run from the left resulting in a shot that hit the underside of the bar before being cleared to safety.
“I am looking forward to returning to Perth and to make my mark on the A-League” Andy Keogh said.
“It is a league I have followed closely over the past few years, with my family having moved to Joondalup in recent years and through my close friendship with Millwall defender and former ECU Joondalup player Shane Lowry.” he added.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me at Perth Glory and I believe my experience in the Championship will help me adapt quickly to the A-League. “
The 183cm striker will join his Perth Glory teammates for pre-season training which commences on June 18.
“It’s another positive signing for Perth Glory. Andy is an exciting player, very hard-working, and someone who play’s football to win and to score goals.” Perth Glory CEO Jason Brewer said.
“I met up with Andy earlier this month in the UK, he’s got a fantastic attitude and it’s great to be able to bring a player of such quality and experience into the Perth Glory squad for the upcoming season.” He added.
Andy Keogh joins recent signings Ruben Zadkovich, Diogo Ferreira, Dino Djulbic and Youssouf Hersi as Head Coach’s Kenny Lowe’s signings for the Club during the 2014/15 A-League off season.
In further good news for the club, on-loan goalkeeper Danny Vukovic will arrive back in Perth next week after an agreement was reached with J-League club Vegalta Sendai to an early release from his five month spell at the club.
Full Name: Andrew Declan Keogh
Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland
Height: 1.83m
Weight: 70kg
Position: Striker
Previous Clubs:
Leeds United
Scunthorpe United
Bury
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Cardiff City
Bristol City
Millwall
Blackpool
Current Hyundai A-League Contracted Squad for Season 2014/15:
Andy Keogh, Dino Djulbic, Ruben Zadkovich, Youssouf Hersi, Diogo Ferreira, Daniel De Silva, Jack Clisby, Brandon O’Neill, Danny Vukovic, Rostyn Griffiths, Michael Thwaite, Cameron Edwards, Nebojsa Marinkovich, Jamie Maclaren, Sidnei Sciola Moreas, Chris Harold, Josh Risdon, Scott Jamieson, Matthew Davies, Riley Woodcock, Harry O’Brien, Jack Duncan.
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Source : Football Federation Australia

Western Sydney Wanderers confirm string of player departures

Michael Beauchamp won't be at the Wanderers next season after being released by the club.

Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed a number of the club’s foundation players will not have their contracts renewed for next season.
Foundation captain Michael Beauchamp, Shinji Ono, Youssouf Hersi, Jerome Polenz, Adam D’Apuzzo, Jerrad Tyson, Aaron Mooy, Tahj Minniecon, Dean Heffernan and Josh Barresi have all parted company with the Wanderers following the conclusion of their contracts.
Ono, Mooy and Hersi have already signed with new clubs for next year but the axing of club captain Michael Beauchamp signals Tony Popovic’s intention to overhaul the Wanderers squad for next season.
Despite his disappointment, Beauchamp paid tribute to the Club and the fans for their support   throughout his stint at Parramatta Stadium.
“It has been an honour leading the boys out there every week and it’s been an honour coming to train here with the team week in week out,” said Beauchamp.
“We’ve shown in two years the level that we can take football to here in Australia, not only on the park but off the park with the community work, with the fans, with the RBB.
“For me it’s been an honour to represent this Club and I’d like to thank the fans and thesupporters.”
Consistent performers Adam D’Apuzzo and Jerome Polenz have surprisingly not been offered new contracts but will certainly attract interest from rival A-League clubs.
D’Apuzzo reignited his career at the Wanderers after spending a year out of the game and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity the club afforded him.
“The Wanderers would definitely be the highlight of my career. The way this Club is in terms of the fans, the setup, the group of boys, the staff it just makes everything we did just seem better than anything I’ve ever done in my career,” said D’Apuzzo.
“The fans here are second to none, even growing up watching football overseas I guess you see their crowds, but I don’t think they have the connection that we have with our fans.”
Utility Dean Heffernan announced his retirement, while little used reserves Jerrad Tyson, Tahj Minniecon and Josh Barresi have been told their services are no longer required by the club.
Western Sydney Wanderers Hyundai A-League squad for 2014/15: 1. Ante Covic, 2. Shannon Cole, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 7. Labinot Haliti, 8. Mateo Poljak, 9. Tomi Juric, 11. Brendon Santalab, 13. Matthew Spiranovic, 14. Kwabena Appiah, 15. Yianni Perkatis, 18. Iacopo La Rocca, 19. Mark Bridge, 23. Jason Trifiro, 31. Alusine Fofanah, 32. Daniel Alessi, 33. Daniel Mullen, 34. Golgol Mebrahtu
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Be more than a fan, become a Member.
Click here to register your interest today! 
Source : Football Federation Australia

Youssouf Hersi headed to Perth Glory

Hersi

Perth Glory have announced the signing of Youssouf Hersi on a deal which will see the attacking midfielder at the club for the next two seasons.

The former Dutch Youth international, who is still with the Western Sydney Wanderers until the end of their 2013/14 Asian Champions League campaign, has a list of big clubs next to his name including FC Twente and AEK Athens along with Dutch giants, Ajax , where he made his debut at the age of 18.

Hersi started his Hyundai A-League career with the Wanderers in their inaugural season, and has since appeared a total of 47 times. Scoring seven goals in his first two seasons, he has been touted as being one of the best imports brought into the Hyundai A-League in recent years.

“We are delighted to have a player of Hersi’s calibre here at Perth Glory” said club CEO, Jason Brewer. “He is a great player, with a fantastic pedigree and as we rebuild for next season, his addition to the club will be the first of many quality signings we will be making in the near future” Brewer concluded.

Hersi’s final appearance for the Wanderers could come tomorrow night if he is selected in the squad that will look to turn around a 3-1 deficit in their AFC Champions League tie at home to Sanfrecce Hiroshima. 

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Journeyman Hersi smiling Down Under

Journeyman Hersi smiling Down Under

© Getty Images

The list reads like a who’s who of modern Dutch football: Rafael van der Vaart, Maarten Stekelenburg, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Arjen Robben and John Heitinga. The players were all members of the Netherlands’ FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign in Argentina, where the coveted No10 jersey was worn by Youssouf Hersi.

The Ethiopian-born, Dutch-raised wide midfielder played all five matches at Argentina 2001 but, unlike many of his former Jong Oranje team-mates, Hersi’s domestic career has been a mixed experience involving nine different clubs. However, the 31-year-old seems to have found a new lease of life at in-fashion A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers.

Long and winding road 
Born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, Hersi’s family departed Africa when he was five years old. Not for the last time, Hersi’s life experience was about to turn full circle. He lived and grew up in a rural part of the Netherlands, but a chance meeting with a local resident with an eye for football talent set Hersi on his professional football pathway.

His entire family uprooted and moved to Amsterdam after the teenage Hersi was offered the chance of a lifetime; a contract with Ajax and their famed youth development system. After a short spell in the Ajax first team, Hersi enjoyed varying degrees of success at a variety of Dutch Eredivisie clubs, most notably Twente under former England manager Steve McClaren.

But a run of injuries, and an unhappy spell in Greece, saw Hersi become the latest in a long line of Dutchmen to make a splash in Australian football. Another life changing experience was at hand.

Shining Down Under 
Against his natural instincts, Hersi made the move to the other side of the world to a culture and league he knew little about. Adding to his trepidation was that the Wanderers were a new club yet to even play a competitive match.

“Something in my head said I needed to leave Holland,” Hersi told FIFA.com. “I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. When I came here there was nothing, empty offices… From the Europa League to here…” said Hersi, his train of thought seemingly lost as he thought back to that initial experience.

“But I settled in very quickly. I came to the west side of Sydney and I saw a lot of different communities, and I was like ‘wow’. It was different, but it feels good. When I first arrived, every day something surprised me. Here you can touch the people, they can touch you and you can talk to the people. It is not the number one sport here. The pressure is off because the league is so young.

It is a little bit Dutch here, but just more sun.
Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Youssouf Hersi

 

“It is a little bit Dutch here, but just more sun,” continues Hersi with a trademark smile. “People here accept you so quickly.

“When I came here and saw the stadium packed, I thought ‘the club is new, how is this possible?’ People here (in western Sydney) love football, watch football and grew up with football so now they have their own team. Each week is sold out, it is hard to get tickets. Are we in Australia?” says Hersi rhetorically with a laugh and smile.

Fast forward just 18 short months from his arrival in Australia and Hersi’s leap of faith has been vindicated. The Wanderers, remarkably, won the league in their maiden season and on Wednesday will make their AFC Champions League debut as Korea Republic powerhouse Ulsan Hyundai visit western Sydney.

All the while Hersi, has been a central and popular figure for the Wanderers. “I played in the Europa League, but this one is different,” he said. “I don’t know what to expect actually.”

Hersi says the obvious distinction from Europe is the enormous travel demands, with teams travelling between Australia and east Asia facing a minimum 20-hour round-trip. “In Europe maybe two or three hours and that is it,” he said. “The recovery from that is very quick in comparison.

“The other teams will have quality as they are the champions of their country. So now we have to find a way to win and accept the challenge.”

 

Source : FIFA.com

Team of the Week | Round 14

Monday, 13 January 2014 6:11 PM

Team of the Week | Round 14

Player of the Week:

Youssouf Hersi: The Wanderers livewire winger put in a man-of-the-match performance in the derby and provided the assist for the game’s solitary goal. Hersi has been hampered by injuries this season but his display on Saturday night suggests he is returning to levels that confounded opposition defences in the Wanderers’ inaugural campaign. The Dutchman is off-contract at season’s end and will be one of the most sought after signatures.

team_of_the_week_rd_14

 

Goalkeeper:

Mark Birighitti: The Jets custodian has been on fire this term, coming to his side’s rescue throughout what has been an inconsistent season from Newcastle to date. Birighitti saved his side another point when he produced a fantastic reflex save from the boot of Archie Thompson. The 22-year-old dived full length to push the ball around the post and earn his side a share of the points late-on against Victory.

Defenders:

Daniel Alessi: Young Wanderers defender Daniel Alessi was thrown into the cauldron of a Sydney derby to make his debut and was certainly not overawed by the occasion. The 16-year-old became the third youngest player to appear in the A-League and fitted in seamlessly to Western Sydney’s backline. Alessi did a fine job on in form Sydney FC utilty Ali Abbas and is certainly a player of the future.

Nikola Petkovic: In what has been a turbulent season for the Sky Blues the Serbian defender has been one of their most consistent performers. Petkovic again stood tall at the back for Sydney FC in the derby, making a number of critical interventions to repel the Wanderers attack. Only a fortuitous cross and Santalab finish late on prevented his side coming away from Pirtek Stadium with a cleansheet.

Manny Muscat: The versatile Phoenix defender has been in vintage form of late and put in another fine display at the back in blustery conditions against the Mariners. Since signing a contract extension mid-season Muscat has been a key contributor behind Wellington’s resurgence. The 29-year-old helped restrict the Mariners to two shots on target in their draw on Sunday.

Tarek Elrich: Elrich has been one of the key architects behind Adelaide’s change in style this year. His confidence on the ball and astute passing game has helped allow the Reds to play out from the back. The defender put in a fine display as the Reds upset the Roar at Suncorp Stadium. The Roar have been scoring for fun in recent times but Elrich helped ensure the likes of Berisha, Broich and Petratos had a relatively quiet day at the office.

Terry McFlynn: Club legend Terry McFlynn was a standout in midfield in his first start of the season. The former Sydney FC captain is part of the club’s fabric, having played every season in Sky Blue since the induction of the Hyundai A-League. McFlynn filled his role with aplomb, thwarting the space the likes of Ono and Mooy usually thrive in. We have surely not seen the last of the Northern-Irishman this campaign.

Jordan Elsey: It’s been a whirlwind fortnight for Adelaide United defender Jordan Elsey. After travelling to Hong Kong in the hope of securing a loan with Kitchee FC, the 19-year-old returned to the Reds last Tuesday when the deal failed to materialise. Elsey, a central defender came off the bench to score the winner against the Roar when deployed in midfield. His brave header across goal proving the difference against the league leaders. The youngster backed up for the Youth Team on the weekend unfortunately picking up a red card which will see him miss one match.

Kenny Cunningham: The Costa Rican is starting to hit his straps for Wellington in recent weeks, delivering on the potential that was promised by compatriot Carlos Hernandez. Cunningham scored his second goal for the club when he netted an equaliser a minute before the break against the Mariners. The Phoenix speedster latched onto a half-chance and poked home to give the hosts a share of the points.

Kosta Barbarouses: The Kiwi international has been an unheralded contributor since joining the Victory on a three-year deal this season. The attacker made a break down the right flank before providing a pinpoint cross for Andrew Nabbout to equalise shortly after the Jets had opened the scoring. Barbarouses has been a constant threat this season and one Victory will be relying on in the run-in to the finals.

Shane Smeltz: Perth Glory’s marquee striker and the A-League’s highest ever goal scorer made his eagerly anticipated return from injury in Round 14. The Kiwi international added to his career goal tally grabbing a brace off the bench to extend Heart’s winless run. Smeltz did it all himself in netting the Glory’s second goal and applied a clinical finish to add a third and secure the points. The Glory are back in the top six and things are looking on the up in the west.

Football Federation Australia

Popovic vehemently denies Ono set to depart despite homesickness rumours

December 27, 2013 – 4:23PM

Sebastian Hassett

Football reporter

Disputed future: Shinji Ono celebrates with Youssouf Hersi and Iacopo La Rocca after the Wanderers score against the Mariners at Parramatta Stadium.

Disputed future: Shinji Ono celebrates with Youssouf Hersi and Iacopo La Rocca after the Wanderers score against the Mariners at Parramatta Stadium. Photo: Getty Images

Western Sydney Wanderers star Shinji Ono won’t be going anywhere according to coach Tony Popovic, angrily denying speculation Ono is looking to leave.

J-League division two club Consadole Sapporo made an approach to the Wanderers for Ono’s services last week but were initially rebuffed. However, rumours have rapidly spread that Ono is homesick and is looking for Sapporo or another Japanese club to make an improved bid. It is being suggested Ono is looking for a final season in his homeland before retiring.

The 34-year-old former Feyenoord striker would have to leave in the January transfer window to play out a full season with a J-League club, as their seasons run in the calendar year.

“I think the club’s position is clear on that. He’s not going in January,” Popovic said. “It’s a rumour but that’s all it is. The fact is what the club has said, that he’s not going.”

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When pressed by the Japanese media after Monday night’s 2-0 win over Central Coast at Parramatta Stadium about whether he would be staying with the Wanderers, an uneasy Ono replied: “I have nothing to say about this.”

But Popovic – who always attempts to stymie transfer speculation – said he had received no indication from the player about his desire to depart next month, adding he wasn’t even privy to the rumours of Ono’s apparent homesickness.

“Wherever it’s coming from, I haven’t heard that,” he said. “I haven’t needed to speak to Shinji about it. We’re clear on where we’re heading and Shinji’s fine. You saw how he played on the weekend. He’s in a very good place and there’s nothing for us to worry about.”

Apart from the blow of losing their star playmaker with more than half of the season still to go, Ono’s departure would be a crushing blow for the Wanderers’ Asian Champions League campaign.

As it stands, he will be the club’s designated Asian player, and losing him would spark a mad scramble for another Asian player in the next few weeks before the ACL registration deadline.

Despite playing a key role in the Wanderers’ win over Central Coast, he is not assured of starting against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

Popovic is determined to keep his squad fresh for the duration of both the A-League season and the ACL and is likely to rotate much of his squad in the next two games.

Ono could be swapped for Aaron Mooy or Mark Bridge, who are both in the travelling squad, while Tomi Juric, despite scoring on his comeback from injury, may make way for Labinot Haliti.

Bridge and Mooy will be monitored until kick-off but injured pair of Shannon Cole and Brendon Santalab have been ruled out.

“Tomi has pulled up a bit stiff and sore for a few days, which is expected when you’ve been out for that long,” Popovic said. “[Santalab] is close. He played 60 minutes in the youth team last week and he had good run-out. We know we’ll get the best out of Brendon but we just have to be patient with him.”

Popovic admitted it was a juggling act to balance the squad in a hectic fixture period. “It’s a challenge and one we need to get used to,” Popovic said. “By the end of February [with the Champions League], we’ll be doing it regularly. This is a good test to see how we manage our players and recovery between games.”

With arguably the two most vocal fan groups in the A-League, the stage is set for a thunderous atmosphere at AAMI Park in front of a capacity crowd.

“We’re looking forward to it. There will be a big crowd, Melbourne Victory are a very good side and we’re looking forward to the challenge,” Popovic said. “We’ll have to be at our best to get the three points but we go there with confidence. We’ve had two consecutive wins and we want to make it three. We’ll go there and give it our best and try to put on a very good performance.”

The Sydney Morning Herald

Slick Western Sydney Wanderers blow Central Coast Mariners out of water

December 24, 2013

Dominic Bossi

Sports reporter

The whispers that Western Sydney Wanderers were suffering second-season syndrome were emphatically put to rest last night with one of their most polished performances yet, a resounding 2-0 win over the A-League champions.

This was a warning to the rest of the league that the Wanderers’ credentials as title challengers remain first-class. They comfortably dismantled Central Coast, their usual suffocating defence partnered by a new-found fluidity in attack, which was highlighted by a contender for goal of the year by Tomi Juric.

While the Mariners were by no means poor, there was little for them to take out of the match other than the news that former star Bernie Ibini returns on loan in place of the outbound Michael McGlinchey, who joins former coach Graham Arnold at J-League club Vegalta Sendai.

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You beauty: Youssouf Hersi celebrates after putting the Wanderers 2-0 up on Monday night. Photo: Getty Images

 

Whether it was the lingering desire to avenge last season’s grand final defeat or the yearning to kick-start their own title aspirations, the Wanderers’ intent was evident from kick-off. Mariners defender Josh Rose was the first to fall victim to the hosts’ pressing and was caught out by Jerome Polenz, who dispossessed his opponent to find Ono inside the box with a low cross. The Japanese star appeared certain to break the deadlock but an uncharacteristically poor first touch and a skied shot on goal gave the Mariners a massive let-off.

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The Wanderers finally broke down the Mariners’ defence after 20 minutes. The champions were reduced to last-ditch tackles, twice blocking crosses from Youssouf Hersi then a close-range shot from Iacopo La Rocca, but there no let-off when Juric latched onto resulting loose ball. The ball looked to have dropped a metre behind the Wanderers striker but that mattered little as Juric adjusted his position to slam a stunning bicycle kick past Liam Reddy.

The Mariners came within a toe’s length of drawing level shortly afterwards. A cutback from Mile Sterjovski to Marcos Flores deep inside the box gave the Argentinian an open goal to shoot at. He opted for placement over power but a diving lunge by Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic turned the shot narrowly wide of the post.

Daniel McBreen of the Mariners in action.

The outstretched boot of Spiranovic proved to be all the more decisive just five minutes later, as the Mariners found themselves down by two. Another swift and calculated Wanderers counter-attack had the A-League champions defence chasing shadows as La Rocca surged forward and slipped a pass to Ono on the right flank. The marquee star whipped in a curved low cross that found Hersi mid-stride and the enigmatic Dutchman slammed the ball into the roof of the net with a first-time shot.

The premiers showed no respite after the restart and half the stadium thought they had a third in the 54th minute. A deep corner was floated to the edge of the box, where Polenz was the first to react. Despite having time to bring the ball down, he let-fly with a first time volley which whistled just past the upright.

Ono’s evening was cut short in the 71st minute after he copped a stray elbow to the face during a challenge with Nick Montgomery, who was lucky to escape a second yellow card. Despite talks that he was seeking a move away from Western Sydney, Ono received a standing ovation from the home crowd of 15,786. The Wanderers continued searching for a third goal beyond the 90th minute but substitute Labinot Haliti was denied from close range.

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 2 (Tomi Juric 20m, Youssouf Hersi 33m) bt CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0 at Pirtek Stadium. Crowd: 15,786. Referee: Strebre Delovski.

Ladder after round 11

P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Brisbane Roar 11 8 0 3 19 9 10 24
Western Sydney Wanderers 11 6 4 1 13 7 6 22
Melbourne Victory 11 5 3 3 17 11 6 18
Newcastle Jets 11 5 3 3 13 11 2 18
Sydney FC 11 6 0 5 13 13 0 18
Central Coast Mariners 11 4 4 3 10 13 -3 16
Perth Glory 11 3 4 4 10 12 -2 13
Adelaide United 11 2 4 5 16 17 -1 10
Wellington Phoenix 11 1 4 6 10 16 -6 7
Melbourne Heart 11 0 4 7 9 21 -12 4

The Canberra Times

 

Youssouf Hersi won’t be taking off to Newcastle Jets, say Western Sydney Wanderers

December 12, 2013

Dominic Bossi

Sports reporter

Western Sydney Wanderers have issued a hands-off warning to Newcastle Jets regarding an approach for their star winger Youssouf Hersi, who is firming as the Jets’ No.1 transfer target this summer.

Just days before the two sides are due to clash in the A-League, the Wanderers alerted their rivals that they will not be willing to grant Hersi an early release from his contract in order to move to Newcastle in the upcoming January transfer window.

Hersi’s current deal with the club expires at the end of May and he has since attracted the interest of the Jets who are bracing themselves for the possibility that they will be unable to retain Nathan Burns, who is due to return to Korean club Incheon United on January 11.

Excitement machine: Youssouf Hersi of the Wanderers.

Staying put: Youssouf Hersi of the Wanderers. Photo: Mark Metcalfe

Fairfax Media understands Jets coach Gary van Egmond is a keen admirer of the Dutchman and is hoping to entice him north to the Hunter as early as January with an attractive two-and-a-half year deal.

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Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman ruled out the possibility of releasing any player during the middle of their A-League campaign and before the start of the upcoming Asian Champions League. Gorman said that regardless of whether Hersi stays beyond his current deal with the club, he will not be free to leave before the end of his contract.

”I can assure you that he will be seeing out his contract. We’re not a club that releases players in January windows,” Gorman said. ”It won’t be happening.”

It’s understood that if the Jets fail to land Hersi in the upcoming transfer window and manage to extend Burns’ loan deal, they are still preparing to offer the Wanderers winger a two-year deal to sign him as a free transfer during the off-season.

A source close to the deal said Van Egmond is keen to bring Hersi to the club to add support and experience to his youthful attack. The tug-of-war for Hersi comes as the two clubs meet for the first time this season at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

Hersi, 31, has voiced his frustration at the club’s stalling tactics regarding contract negotiations and is now free to begin negotiations with other clubs having entered the final six months of his contract with the Wanderers. Gorman announced his intentions to keep him at Pirtek Stadium beyond this season and has entered preliminary contract talks with Hersi and his representatives.

”We’ve continued our discussions with him, nothing is finalised,” he said. ”Neither the player or us are in any great rush to do that.”

Despite the prospect of losing Hersi by the start of next season, the Wanderers executive chairman ruled out an approach for Bernie Ibini who is understood to be on the look-out for a return to the A-League after a difficult spell in China with Shanghai East Asia. The former Central Coast striker is currently in Australia on holidays and is understood to be seeking a release from his club to move closer to his family in Sydney.

The Wanderers are one of several clubs linked with the striker but Gorman denied his club’s interest as the coaching staff are satisfied with their attacking depth.

”We’ve had no discussions with Bernie,” Gorman said. ”We’ve had no approach from his agent, we’ve made no approach to him or anything like that. We’re very content with the squad that we have.”

The Sydney Morning Herald

Hersi close to returning

Tuesday, 19 November 2013 4:50 PM

Hersi close to returning

Western Sydney X-factor Youssouf Hersi has recovered from a foot injury and is a chance to return for Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash against Brisbane Roar, coach Tony Popovic has revealed.

Hersi has missed the Wanderers’ last three games after injuring his foot against Sydney FC last month.

But the livewire winger is eyeing a return after resuming full training this week.

“He’s back training, he looks very happy and determined and his foot’s improved,” Popovic said on Tuesday.

“Now we just have to assess how he trains this week and how his body is and whether he’ll be available for selection.”

While the Wanderers have won all three of their games without Hersi, Popovic is excited at the prospect of having the 31-year-old back on deck.

“Of course it would be a great boost (to have him back),” he said.

“He’s a very good player, it’s nice to have him out on the training field and I’m sure the boys like having him out there.

“He’s a great character and it’s good to see him happy again and over this injury.”

Popovic has a full squad to choose from for the trip to Brisbane, with the exception of Tomi Juric who is still three weeks away from a return with a knee injury.

The undefeated Wanderers sit two points clear of the Roar on top of the ladder after six rounds, but Popovic remains wary of this week’s opponents despite their 2-1 loss to Newcastle on Sunday.

“We’re expecting a really, really tough game,” he said.

“They’re playing very well, they’ve got some outstanding players in their side and it will be what we expect – a real tough encounter.

“We just want to put in a very good performance and we know if we do that we give ourselves a chance and that’s what we try and do every week.

“We’ve got a lot of respect for the way Brisbane plays and the players they’ve got and we know they’ll be very strong come Friday night.”

 

Football Federation Australia