Wanderers sign Shinji Ono

Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed the signing of Japanese midfielder Shinji Ono.

Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed the signing of Japanese midfielder Shinji Ono.

Despite nearly reaching a deal with former Germany captain Michael Ballack, Ono, 33, proved the more viable option for Tony Popovic's side.

The midfielder will arrive in Australia on Monday and could be ready for the Wanderers first ever game in the Hyundai A-League against Central Coast Mariners at Parramatta Stadium.

He joins the Wanderers from Shimizu S-Pulse, who compete in Japan-s J-League.

Ono has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning 17 years, playing for Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan (1998-2001 & 2006-07), Feyenord, Netherlands (2001-05), Bochum Germany (2007-10) and Shimizu S-Pulse (2010-12).

As well as a distinguished career at club level, Ono has represented Japan on 56 occasions, including playing at three FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006).

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic is delighted to have someone of Shinji-s talent and experience joining the Wanderers.

“We have been in talks with Shinji and his management for a long time now, we have gone through the process and believe he will add a large amount to our squad across all areas,” Popovic said.

“He is an experienced player at all levels and has played on some of the biggest stages in the world, his professionalism at the top level will be good for all to see.”

Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman said the signing of such a top-class player would be warmly welcomed by the Wanderers Members.

“The signing of a Shinji Ono will bring plenty of quality to our team and plenty of excitement to Parramatta Stadium,” said Gorman.

“This complements our policy of developing western Sydney products. Shinji-s class and professionalism will rub off on all the young players we have.

“The added benefit is the international profile Shinji will bring to the Wanderers and give us another way to connect with fans across western Sydney.”

The Hyundai A-League 2012/13 season kicks off on Friday 5 October with the season-s first Melbourne derby at Etihad Stadium. Click here for tickets to all the matches.

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