Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed the departure of a number of off-contract players from the club’s 2015/16 playing roster.
Following Sunday’s heart-breaking Grand Final loss the Wanderers have announced six off-contract players will not be re-joining Tony Popovic’s squad for a renewed tilt at the title.
The Wanderers revealed semi-final hero Romeo Castelen, Spaniards Andreu and Alberto, marquee Federico Piovaccari, forward Golgol Mebrahtu and mid-season signing Matt Sim have all parted company with the club.
Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas thanked all the departing players for their contribution.
“The departing players have served this club well and we wish them all the very best in the next chapter of their professional lives,” said Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas.
“These players helped us get to our third Grand Final and will be fondly remembered by this club and the fans.”
Dutchman Romeo Castelen departs the Wanderers after two seasons in Red & Black that saw the winger play 53 matches in the Hyundai A-League, AFC Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and Westfield FFA Cup, scoring 11 goals.
The 2014/15 Members’ Player of the Year will be best remembered for his hat-trick in the memorable 5-4 Semi-Final win against Brisbane Roar.
“I was happy I could play a big part and show the people in Australia – and especially in Western Sydney – my talent and my ability. To get respect from the fans was unbelievable,” said Castelen.
“It was because of Popa that I came to this club, we worked together for two years and I respect him as a man, a leader and a coach.
“It’s been a great journey, I really enjoy this club, I enjoyed my time here and now we move on.”
Spanish duo Andreu and Alberto joined the Wanderers during the 2015/16 pre-season and wasted no time in helping the Red & Black mould a new style under Tony Popovic.
Midfielder Andreu joined from Racing Santander in Spain, scoring three goals in his 30 matches for the Wanderers.
“If I think about everything, not just as a footballer but as a person and as a dad, my season at the Wanderers has been the best in my life. Popa has been the best coach of my career,” said Andreu.
“I’m going to miss the atmosphere and my friends in the squad and all the staff. I cannot say just one thing I will miss because everything was close to perfect.”
Central defender Alberto also joined from Spain, coming from Ponferradina before establishing himself as a permanent fixture in the Wanderers’ back line. Alberto played in 24 matches and scored one goal.
Forward Golgol Mebrahtu joined the Wanderers in January of 2014 following a mid-season switch from Melbourne Heart. Unfortunately, Mebrahtu’s time with Wanderers was plagued with injury, none more so than six minutes into his debut against Sydney FC when he injured his MCL and ACL.
Mebrahtu made ten appearances over three seasons for the Red & Black with the highlight his sole goal as he hit a late winner against Brisbane Roar in a Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 match in Penrith.
“I’ve learnt a lot with a great bunch of boys and staff every day. The support I’ve received from the fans has been phenomenal and that’s something I’ll carry with me for the rest of my career,” said Mebrahtu.
“I am a lot better player right now than two and a half years ago when I joined the club and I’m looking forward to what the future has in store for me.”
Federico Piovaccari joined the Wanderers before the 2015/16 season, scoring two goals in his 14 matches for the club while Matt Sim joined the Wanderers in January of this year after a mid-season switch from Central Coast Mariners. The left-sided player appeared in one match for the Red & Black.