Around the grounds: Meier answers Babbel's call from the blue
Alexander Meier did not have to think long about joining Western Sydney Wanderers, despite the club's offer coming out of the blue.
The 36-year-old German attacker joined Markus Babbel's side last Friday, filling the club's second marquee player allocation.
It was an approach that may have caught Meier, who had been on the lookout for a new club following his exit from second tier club St. Pauli at the end of last season, by surprise.
But when Babbel posed the question last week, Meier didn't hesitate, and touched down in Western Sydney on Sunday.
"He asked if I can imagine to play here," he told the club's website. "I didn't have to think long about it. It was a new challenge for me, a new experience, and I was already on the way."
Meier arrives in the Hyundai A-League with significant pedigree. He scored 119 goals in the Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt, where he won the German Cup and is affectionately known as 'Fussballgot' - Football God - after 14 years of top-class service.
"It's always difficult to speak about myself but I can give only 100% every training, every game and be professional on the field and outside the field," he said.
“The most important thing for me is that as a team we all stand for each other, in bad and in good times, and the better the environment we create, success can come from this.”
Thompson's bold Western United prediction
Through the lens of a Melbourne Victory fan, club great Archie Thompson was in enemy territory earlier on Tuesday.
Victory legend Thompson visited Western United's training base in Caroline Springs.
And he told the club website he was expecting big things from the Hyundai A-League newcomers.
“I think they’ll make finals. They’ve got a good squad with depth,” the former Caltex Socceroo and Hyundai A-League Championship winner with Victory told www.wufc.com.au.
“Any team that does well in the A-League, you need depth. They’ve recruited really well, you then look at the coaching staff - they have a wealth of knowledge about football, in Australia.
“Guys like Ante Moric, JA [John Anastasiadis], John Hutchinson, Frank Juric, and Massimo Murdocca in the fitness department.
“All great guys with so much knowledge lead by Mark Rudan, who’s one of the best.”
Thompson also had an important announcement to make - see below - but confirmed he will not be plying his trade for the new kids on the Hyundai A-League block.
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Brandon's brilliant for Brattan
Luke Brattan is confident he can replace Josh Brillante and continue the dominant partnership he held with Brandon O’Neill in the Sydney FC midfield.
Brattan, 29, inked a one-year deal with the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions in July, signing from Melbourne City.
A three-time Championship winner himself, he is an ideal replacement to fill the void left by Brillante - who has wound up at City.
“I’ve only played with him for a couple of games now and it’s a pleasure to play next to him ," Brattan told the club's website.
"When you’re playing with so many good players, it makes your job on the field easier.
“We’ve got such a talented squad, Steve has done a good job to put this team together. I’m just looking to do my job and add a bit to the midfield, and make a good partnership with Brandon."
O'Doherty returns for Wanderers
The positive news following the capture of Alexander Meier continues for Western Sydney Wanderers, with midfielder Jordan O'Doherty back in training.
O'Doherty, 21, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Perth Glory in February.
It was a cruel blow for the former Adelaide United man, who made 16 starts for the Wanderers last season - a higher tally than each of his previous two seasons in the competition with United.