Around the grounds: Reds' injury blow, new Wanderers deal for JP
Adelaide United's hopes of forcing their way into the Hyundai A-League Finals Series have been dealt a blow with news star playmaker James Troisi has undergone knee surgery.
Troisi went under the knife on Tuesday to repair an issue that has plagued him for much of the 2019/20 campaign.
The club expect to be without the 32-year-old for up to four weeks, meaning he's unlikely to feature for the seventh-placed Reds in their final five matches of the regular season.
“Upon the team’s return from the COVID-19 break, James has been training with the squad and participated in both internal friendlies," Adelaide United Director of Football Bruce Djite said on the club's website.
“However, after consultation with specialists, we decided it was best for James that he proceed with this minor procedure.”
The Reds' first match is on Sunday, July 19 when they take on Brisbane Roar in a vital clash at CBUS Super Stadium, kicking off at 7.30pm (AEST).
de Marigny eyeing silverware after inking fresh deal
Jean-Paul de Marigny has been rewarded for Western Sydney Wanderers' up-turn in form since taking the interim head coaching role by being awarded a deal as the club's permanent boss.
The former defender has been handed the reins until the end of the 2020/21 Season after guiding the Wanderers back into finals contention since taking over from the sacked Markus Babbel in January.
After seven games in charge, de Marigny has seen his side notch three wins, three draws and just a solitary defeat to sit just one point outside the top six.
"Like everything else, my belief is that this club is a big club, the biggest club in the league. My definition of a big club is a club that wins trophies," he said.
"So, the challenge for us is to make sure that when it comes to seasons end, we are challenging to win trophies.
"That's why I get up. Every day, we need success and we want success, and that is what we'll be chasing."
Victory’s Hoogland heads home
Defender Tim Hoogland is the latest player to confirm he won’t be returning to Melbourne Victory to complete the 2019/20 Season.
The German – who endured an injury-riddled time in the Hyundai A-League - has decided to return to his homeland having made just six appearances for the campaign.
“This season has been challenging for so many reasons, and my family has supported me every step of the way,” Hoogland said.
“With the current environment in Melbourne and the league moving to Sydney, I have to put my family first. We have loved our time in Melbourne. It is a fantastic city, and Victory is very professional club full of great people.”
Hoogland joins former Victory captain Ola Toivonen, who returned to Sweden in June, and midfielder Jakob Poulsen (retired in May) as player who haven’t returned after the competition’s break.
Coach Carlos Salvachua has also returned to Europe, with two-time championship-winning midfielder Grant Brebner in charge for the rest of the season.
Castro opts out of 2019/20 Season return
Perth Glory confirmed on Tuesday that skipper Diego Castro won’t be part of the club’s push for this season’s Hyundai A-League title.
The Spanish whiz has opted not to travel to Sydney with Tony Popovic’s squad, citing health reasons relating to COVID-19.
"It is very unfortunate that Diego will not be available for the remainder of the season,” Glory CEO Tony Pignata said.
“But we understand this personal decision that he has come to after careful consideration."
Glory’s first match on the competition resumption comes on Saturday when they take on Central Coast Mariners in Gosford, with kick-off at 5pm AEST.
Double blow for Melbourne clubs
Castro isn’t the only big name player that announced this week they won’t be returning to action for their respective clubs this season.
Western United FC import Panagiotis Kone departed the competition newcomers with immediate effect, while Melbourne City’s Spanish import Markel Susaeta mutually agreed to end his deal with Melbourne City.
Kone’s departure is a significant one for Mark Rudan’s side, with the Greek international the club’s first signing and making 15 appearances in 2019/20, scoring two goals.
"I want to thank Western United for giving me the opportunity to be part of this club,” Kone told the club’s website.
“I wish the best of luck to all the players, staff and members. Stay Safe!"
At City, Susaeta didn’t join the squad as they moved to NSW, opting to return to Spain for family reasons.
He joined City in January, making 10 appearances and scoring two goals.
Mariner Clisby itching for competition resumption
It’s not just returning to the pitch that is exciting Central Coast Mariners defender Jack Clisby ahead of Saturday’s clash with Perth Glory.
Clisby is also relishing the opportunity to play in front of fans in Gosford, following the announcement this week that a small number of members and supporters can attend at Central Coast Stadium.
“We are looking forward to seeing our fans at the game this weekend, and getting behind the boys for the last four games, it’s an exciting time,” he said.
“Live sport is back, live football is back, and for all the fans that love the game to come out and support us, we would love to have you there.
“I can only imagine how keen they are to get back into the stands, as keen as we are to get back on the field. We can’t wait to have our fans back at the stadium, the last game playing without them it just seemed strange, it’s such a strange footballing world watching and playing games without crowds.”