Cross-town rivals Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers met each other in the semi-final of the FFA Cup on Saturday night in Penrith.
Western Sydney Wanderers forward Golgol Mebrahtu is hoping coach Tony Popovic’s off-season squad overhaul can help propel him into first team contention.
The Red and Black have undergone a player revolution since their ninth place finish last season, shedding 18 players and acquiring new recruits like midfielder Mitch Nichols and Italian marquee striker Federico Piovaccari.
Mebrahtu spent 12 months on the sidelines with an ACL tear sustained in his first match for the Wanderers, returning in the club’s final round defeat to Perth Glory in April, and said he’s ready to stake a claim for a starting XI position.
“To have that much time off the pitch, not being able to play, it’s mentally challenging,” he said.
“But it depends what perspective you take on it, and I’ve taken a lot from that challenge.
“I think it’ll make me a much stronger player mentally, as well as physically, so I’m looking forward to the season ahead.”
Mebrahtu said he was excited to become better acquainted with his new teammates on the Wanderers’ upcoming team camp in Coffs Harbour.
“It’s good to get fit, get ready and I think everyone that’s come in has put their head down and worked hard,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to (camp), it’ll be a good opportunity for some bonding time, because there’s a lot of new faces around.”
The Wanderers will play a preseason friendly in Coffs Harbour against Central Coast Mariners on August 7, before returning to Sydney for their FFA Cup tie against Brisbane Roar on August 11.