GolGol back and firing for new-look Wanderers

Striker GolGol Mebrahtu says he’s mentally stronger and physically strong enough to make an impression at the remodelled Western Sydney Wanderers this season.

The African-born 24-year-old was diagnosed with medial collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries after the Sydney derby in March 2014 at Allianz Stadium.

Speaking ahead of the club’s first pre-season hit-out on Thursday against Mt Druitt Rangers, the former Gold Coast and Heart striker says he’s over his horrific injury woes and ready to make up for lost time.  

“It’s been a long road back for me from injury,” he said on Tuesday adding that it’s been mentally challenging.

“I’ve had no issues. I’ve made a full recovery. But I’ve taken a lot out of that challenge and it will make me a much stronger player mentally as well as physically.”

It’s a huge boost for the Wanderers as they move into a new era with many new faces joining and set to join the Red and Black ahead of Season 11 in the Hyundai A-League. 

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Meanwhile, new signing Federico Piovaccari will arrive in Australia on Thursday to be introduced to the crowd at Popondetta Park, Emerton. Due to flying in that day he will not participate in the match. Kick-off is 7:30pm.

A trip to Coffs Harbour will follow with the squad set to depart on Sunday 2 August for a week-long training camp that concludes with a pre-season match against Central Coast Mariners on Friday 7 August.

This will be the first ever Hyundai A-League match to be played in Coffs Harbour. 
Four days later the Red & Black will host their first ever Westfield FFA Cup home match when they take on Brisbane Roar at Pepper Stadium, Penrith.

“We’ve been doing quite a bit of running recently,” he added with smile.

“So it’ll be good to put that into practice out on the pitch.”

Fellow Wanderers striker Romeo Castelen said there shouldn’t be any problems with the squad gelling alongside a host of new players in the red and black.

And was excited to work with new assistant coach Andres Carrasco, formerly of the Barcelona youth academy and a UEFA Pro licence coach. 

“That’s the beauty of the A-League. You have a very long pre-season. You can build for the first game. It should be enough time to build.”