Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas has spoken of his delight after the club recruited a trio of former Melbourne City players.
Nick Fitzgerald, Bruce Kamau and Ruon Tongyik all joined the Wanderers on Thursday having been released by City, along with veteran Manny Muscat and youngster Christian Cavallo.
Each player has signed a one-season contract that will see them through to the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
All three players were linked with the Wanderers while Josep Gombau was in charge, before he was axed last month.
Both Tongyik and Kamau enjoyed a previous working relationship with the Spanish tactician while he headed up Adelaide United.
But Western Sydney completed their signings even with Gombau gone, and Tsatsimas saw historical links particularly in Fitzgerald’s signing.
“During the season there were some players that we identified to bring into our squad for the 2018-19 season and we are delighted to announce them today (Thursday),” he said.
“Bruce and Ruon are fantastic young talents that were identified earlier this season and we are very happy to have secured their signatures for the next two seasons.
“Nick Fitzgerald is a Blacktown boy who has blossomed in the A-League over the past eight seasons.
“Having players who are born and bred in Western Sydney playing for the club is a tradition we want to continue.”
The 26-year-old winger, who played 70 games each for Central Coast Mariners and City, was eager to rediscover his roots playing for the Wanderers.
“I’m a Western Sydney boy so to be able to come back home and play for this club is a great opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to starting,” Fitzgerald said.
“I played all my junior football just around the corner for Blacktown City. When I was growing up, we didn’t have the Wanderers so I’m delighted to be a part of it now.
“I think that’s the great thing about the club, they really connect with the fans and with the community and that’s always something I’ve wanted to be a part of and to be able to go out and play for this club and represent where I’m from is a great opportunity.”
Both centre-back Tongyik and winger Kamau, who struggled to force their way into City’s starting XI and matchday squads, quickly turned their attentions to establishing themselves in their new environment.
“I really can’t wait to get started and look forward to wearing the Red and Black,” Tongyik said.
“I want to win silverware here. I want to win the premiers late and the grand final of course.
“When I arrive at the Wanderers I want to continue to improve, to show that fans why I am here – to help the team and win things.”
“It’s a club that has had a lot of success in the past and I’m hoping to have some more success there with the squad for the two years that I will be here,” Kamau added.
The trio is the coachless Wanderers’ first additions of the offseason.
Michael Thwaite, Jack Clisby and Alvaro Cejudo have been allowed to leave.
According to SBS The World Game, Western Sydney have turned to Europe as the search for their new coach intensifies.