Western United FC have made a splash in their first two weeks in the Hyundai A-League, with news of their sensational start making it across the globe.
Mark Rudan’s side are on a high after an unbeaten start to the season and receiving an endorsement from former Italian international striker Christian Vieri this week, who spoke glowingly of his compatriot and United skipper Alessandro Diamanti.
We’ve got all that plus Wanderers defender Daniel Georgievski on his nightmare UEFA Champions League experience and Phoenix striker David Ball’s thoughts on new arrival of Gary Hooper our wrap of all the action around the grounds ahead of Round 3.
‘Come on guys, let’s win something’: Christian Vieri’s Western United pep talk
Western United FC’s Italian marquee Alessandro Diamanti has proven to be a social media hit since arriving in the Hyundai A-League and earlier this week he took to Twitter with a video featuring a very special guest.
Former Azzuri star Christian “Bobo” Vieri, who scored 23 goals for Italy and 259 goals in total over a glamorous career, swung his support behind Diamanti and his new club in a short video.
"Great Diamanti, great Western United,” Vieri said.
“Come on guys, let's win something. A hug from me Diamanti.”
Diamanti continues to prove to his new club just how valuable he will be both on the pitch with his already-scintillating form in the first two rounds, but also off the pitch as he draws the eyes of his high-profile friends such as Vieri to the Hyundai A-League.
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‘I actually cried on the bus’: Georgievski relives horror Champions League night
As a kid Daniel Georgievski would set the alarm on his Motorola flip phone to blast the UEFA Champions League theme song at 4:30am so he could wake up and watch all the action before he went to school.
And while playing for Steaua București in 2013 Georgievski thought he had made it to a dreamland playing against Chelsea in a Champions League tie.
But that dream soon turned into a nightmare, and the biggest learning curve of his career.
“I always remember the day we played Chelsea, and André Schürrle absolutely tore me one,” Georgievski told SBS The World Game.
“I’d kick Schürrle, I’d kick the ball into his knee, it would go just behind me and he would run on and score.
“I scored on own goal that game too. The worst game of my life and the biggest learning curve, because I got booed off.
“An own goal, Schürrle assisted twice, we lost 4-0, and I got booed off - happy day.
“I actually cried on the bus... I went in first because I was taken off in the 70th minute.
“I went on the bus and went ‘why did you care so much for?’ I was 25 or something, you put too much pressure on yourself.
“I had a tear, I knew my dad was going to call me and shred me one as well because he was never one to say you played well.
“I knew they would wake up and watch the games in Australia so I felt like I had disappointed them, not only myself, that probably hit me a little bit.”
Ball sings Hooper’s praises ahead of ex-Premier League star’s Phoenix debut
Phoenix forward David Ball can’t wait to link up with his new strike partner in former Norwich City and Celtic star Gary Hooper, who is in line to make his debut against Perth Glory this weekend.
Hooper, 31, scored 63 goals in 95 appearances for Celtic and 18 in 64 for the Canaries.
Ball is yet to break his Hyundai A-League duck despite impressing in the opening two rounds, but the Englishman is not threatened by the arrival of his compatriot Hooper; instead he’s relishing the chance to play alongside a striker of his pedigree.
“His CV and goals he has scored, adding someone like him to any team in this league and certainly ours, we are just really happy to have him,” Ball told reporters.
“He’s going to be a really big player for us.”
MATCH PREVIEW: Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory