'Massive': Why Wanderers defender Elrich's 250th is extra special
Western Sydney Wanderers defender Tarek Elrich says being at a club so close to his heart makes his impending 250th appearance in the Hyundai A-League all the more meaningful.
Elrich, 31, is set to become the eighth player to reach the milestone when the Wanderers meet Brisbane Roar in Mudgee on Saturday.
The former Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United man came full circle when he rejoined Western Sydney over the off-season and he is delighted to be back in red and black for the special occasion.
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"It’s a massive honour to be reaching that number," Elrich said.
"Last season was a tough year with injury and coming off contract. It was very stressful times.
"I’m glad to be home now and achieving this milestone at my hometown club is massive for me.
"I knew I was close to 250, I didn’t know how close.
"We were talking about being in Mudgee and how terrible my moustache is, but now we’ll be talking about my 250 games!"
Saturday's fixture in Mudgee, which is around 250 kilometres from Sydney's west, is part of Wanderers' concerted push to connect with regional areas.
Elrich, a three-time Caltex Socceroo, is more than happy to celebrate his milestone moment in a new setting.
"It’s good for us to be reaching out to these areas," he said.
"There aren’t many football games that happen there. Hopefully we can win some fans over.
"You take it for granted sometimes living in Australia, you don’t really get out to see these beautiful places.
"It’s something different for me and I’m sure the boys are looking forward to it."