Western Sydney Wanderers boss Tony Popovic has started to rebuild for the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season with the signing of three experienced stars.
Roly Bonevacia, Josh Risdon and Michael Thwaite have all put pen to paper with the Wanderers.
Bonevacia and Risdon have both signed on until the end of the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season, while Thwaite has put pen to paper on a one-year deal.
Roly Bonevacia joins from Wellington Phoenix, where he made 80 Hyundai A-League appearances and netted 14 goals across three seasons with the Club.
A product of the famous Ajax youth academy, the 25-year-old enjoyed stints with NAC Breda and Roda JC in the Eredivisie before arriving in the Hyundai A-League in 2014.
A youth international with the Netherlands, Bonevacia’s ability to fill a number of attacking roles for the team will be a big bonusfor Wanderers boss Tony Popovic.
Bonevacia said he’s ready to hit the ground running at the Wanderers.
“I’m very excited to start a new challenge, it’s something I’m really looking forward to,” Bonevacia said.
“The Club is very hungry for success and the coach gets the best of out his players and makes them better, so I can’t wait to get started.”
Josh Risdon moves across from Perth Glory, where the right-back was the Club’s most capped player in Hyundai A-League history with 142 appearances.
The 24-year-old made his professional debut at the age of 18 after two years with the Glory’s youth side and went on to be named Perth’s Player of the Year in just his second season.
Capped three times by the Socceroos, Risdon said he was delighted to be entering a new stage in his career.
“Obviously being at Perth for so long, it was a tough decision but I feel that this is the right choice and I’m really excited for the new experience,” Risdon said.
“The Wanderers are a great Club and have achieved so much in such a small time, so I’m looking forward to working under Tony Popovic and taking my game to the next level.”
Michael Thwaite arrives in Western Sydney after spending last season with Liaoning Whowin in the Chinese Super League.
The former Socceroo, who began his professional footballing journey in Western Sydney with Marconi Stallions, returns to the Hyundai A-League for a ninth season having notched up 183 appearances with Melbourne Victory, Gold Coast United and Perth Glory.
The 34-year-old was a Hyundai A-League Championship winner with the Victory in 2008/09, and was named Gold Coast’s Player of the Year in 2010/11 and Perth’s Player of the Year in 2013/14.
Capped 13 times by the Socceroos, the 190cm tall Thwaite will add a considerable presence to a formidable looking Red & Black rearguard.
Thwaite said his decision to return home was an easy one to make.
“It has a lot to do with the response from both ex-players and the current players at the Wanderers. I know that Tony’s very thorough and his success is proven so it’s something that I’m very eager to be a part of,” Thwaite said.
“Western Sydney is a very important region for me because that’s where my professional career started, so I feel that I need to give something back to the region.”
NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers contracted Hyundai A-League squad:
Goalkeepers: Vedran Janjetovic, Jerrad Tyson
Defenders: Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Keanu Baccus, Aritz Borda, Jack Clisby, Robert Cornthwaite, Brendan Hamill, Josh Risdon, Michael Thwaite
Midfielders: Roly Bonevacia, Steven Lustica, Jacob Melling
Attackers: Jumpei Kusukami, Brendon Santalab, Lachlan Scott, Jaushua Sotirio
Scholarship Players: Jackson Bandiera