Wanderers spirit to shine through

Western Sydney Wanderers skipper Michael Beauchamp concedes his side cannot compete with the Mariners' experience but insists the tight bond formed in the establishment of the new club will ensure they will be competitive in their Hyundai A-League debut.

Western Sydney Wanderers skipper Michael Beauchamp concedes his side cannot compete with the Mariners' experience but insists the tight bond formed in the establishment of the new club will ensure they will be competitive in their Hyundai A-League debut.

The competition new-boys begin their season with a home clash against last year's Premiers Plate winners Central Coast at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night.

It's a tricky initiation for a side that has only been assembled in the last few months and have only played a handful of games together as a full squad.

But the club's inaugural skipper is adamant the Wanderers won't be overawed by the challenge and believes their strong relationships will hold them in good stead.

Beauchamp told Sportal: "The unit as a whole is fantastic.

"In such a short space of time it's great to see how everyone has come together and is really tight.

"Even the (European) boys have settled into Australian life and the team really well.

"It's a credit to the boss for selecting players to fit those roles so easily.

"It seems that everyone has gelled so well. It's been a long pre-season but the whole squad can't wait for that first game against the Mariners on Saturday."

Much of Beauchamp's confidence comes from the way the side has been prepared under rookie coach Tony Popovic.

Asked the message Popovic had been drumming into his players, Beauchamp said: "Basically not to leave anything out on the pitch.

"Even at training we've been going out there feeling after the session that we couldn't give any more.

"That's what he's asking of the whole team on and off the park, and even with the staff he's asking the same thing.

"That's just the type of person he is, he's a winner and he wants winners in his team and that's what I feel we have in our squad."

Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic admits the side is edgy ahead of their opening match but is confident it will bring out their best against the Mariners.

"We've done all we can through training and we've got a great bunch of lads," the former Jets and Victory shot-stopper said.

"There will be nerves, it's a new club, we've put expectations on ourselves and want to go out there and do a good job.

"But they've got to be positive nerves and every single player has to be looking forward to stepping out on that pitch.

"They've got a lot more years of experience in the competition and have been hugely successful over the duration of the Hyundai A-League.

"It's not going to be an easy task for us but we're confident in ourselves and we're playing at home and we've got the no fear attitude once we get out there."

Beauchamp said the addition of former Japanese international Shinji Ono had given the squad a huge boost and he hopes the 33-year will provide the 'razzle-dazzle' to make the Wanderers a finals contender in their debut season.