Western United FC have confirmed defender Ersan Gulum has the left the club, effective immediately.
Gulum, who was the club’s 12th signing for their inaugural season, has decided to return back to Turkey.
The 32-year-old made nine appearances for United and was integral to their strong start to life in the competition.
“The boys have been first class. I want to thank all of them. And I’d like to especially thank Mark Rudan for giving me this chance,” he said on the club’s official website.
“Thank you to all the coaching and off-field staff at Western United. They’ve been amazing.
“I’m sad to go but I know the club will continue to grow and I’ll always remain a supporter of the Green and Black.”
Gulum’s absence will leave a huge hole in United’s defensive options, with Brendan Hamill and Aaron Calver already sidelined through injury.
“Ersan is a leader and has helped drive the group forward in our first season. He bought into the culture of our club and has been a great example to all the boys,” coach Mark Rudan said.
“He’s a class act on and off the pitch. Ersan’s professionalism and upbeat character was a positive throughout his time with our club.”
United are expected to bolster their defensive options with a new signing or two before the January transfer window closes.
Former Sydney FC and Schalke youngster George Timotheou has been linked with a move to the club.
United are next in action on Australia Day (Sunday, January 26) when they host Adelaide United in the first-ever Hyundai A-League match to be played at Whitten Oval.
Sunday, 26 January 2020
Kick-off: 6pm AEDT
Venue: Whitten Oval
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports