New Adelaide United skipper Isaias has been blown away by the increased Spanish flavour in the Hyundai A-League but expects it to continue as the competition goes from strength to strength.
The Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season will have a distinct Spanish flavour with nine players sprinkled across the 10 clubs.
Western Sydney Wanderers have led the way with Oriol Riera, Alvaro Cejudo and Raul Llorente all joining the club in the off-season.
While Andreu and Xavi Torres have joined Diego Castro in Perth and Alan Baro and Asdrubal are playing for Central Coast Mariners.
Over the last few years we’ve also seen the likes of David Villa, Luis Garcia and Sergio Cirio also grace the competition.
The Reds captain is entering his fifth season in the Hyundai A-League and while he’s not calling himself a trailblazer, he believes his success may have opened the door for more of his countrymen.
“Every year there’s more and more [Spanish players] coming to the A-League. It’s a surprise but very nice,” Isaias told www.a-league.com.au.
“Probably after my experience in the A-League [clubs] know that they can bring Spanish players here and have good results.
“The league is also improving and they are bringing more important [Spanish players] who are also helping the league improve.
“The league is getting better all the time and its exciting for Spanish players to come now and play in Australia.”
Isaias knows most of the new Spanish contingent well from his time playing at Badalona and Espanyol and tipped Wanderers striker Riera and Glory’s new midfield pairing of Andreu and Torres to make the biggest impacts.
But there’s one young Australian player that has caught the 30-year-old’s eye at the Reds.
Ex-Sydney FC striker George Blackwood has moved to Adelaide for this season and has scored goals and looked impressive in the club’s run to the Westfield FFA Cup semi-finals (the Reds face the Wanderers later this month).
“He’s [Blackwood] a very complete player. I thought he was only a tall boy who was strong and good in the air but he’s also quick and skilful with his feet.
“He can hold the ball in the front third, can [beat a player] one against one…for me he’s complete striker.
“And the good thing is he’s a good guy too so I think he deserves to have a good season.
“We’ve had a very good pre-season, we’ve won almost every game and we’re in the semis of FFA Cup, so hopefully we can keep the run going in the A-League.”
The Reds open their campaign away to Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.