The Mebrahtu Mk II: Fitter, stronger, faster!

Western Sydney Wanderers forgotten man Golgol Mebrahtu says having more than a year out with injury has made him “faster, stronger and fitter”.

The 25-year-old Sudan-born winger missed more than 15 months of football after ACL and MCL injuries sustained in the Sydney derby in March last year.

Mebrahtu marked his competitive return with the winning goal in Wanderers’ 1-0 FFA Cup Round of 32 triumph over Brisbane Roar last month.

The fit-again former Gold Coast and Melbourne Heart (now City) flyer looms as a dangerous figure for a new-look Wanderers this term.

“That game against Brisbane would have shown I’ve become faster, stronger and fitter,” Mebrahtu told FourFourTwo.

“It’s a long process when you have an injury like I did. A lot of the attention is focusing on the injury itself, but also seeing other aspects of your physicality which you can improve.

“I had a lot of time to do that and because of that my physical attributes have increased.

“From a footballing standpoint, just being able to watch a lot of football has increased my football IQ.

“I definitely feel a better player all round, mentally, physically and as a footballer in general.”

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has high wraps on Mebrahtu and has played a key role in his recovery.

“The coach has shown a lot of faith in me throughout the whole rehab,” Mebrahtu said.

“He’s emphasized his faith in me. He thinks it will be something that will push my career to go further ahead and reach places where I haven’t before.

“He’s given examples of other players who’ve had this blip in their career also with similar injuries who’ve gone on to be very, very successful.

“I’m definitely very optimistic about the season ahead.”

Mebrahtu is also confident about Wanderers’ prospects in 2015-16 after the challenge of multiple commitments crippled their 2014-15 campaign where they finished ninth.

“Whether there’s challenges or not in terms of scheduling and playing in two or three different competitions, we always aim to win the title,” he said. “That’s our expectation at the club.

“We will be playing less games, the FFA Cup finishes early in the season, so the A-League will be the only title we’ll be involved in.

“Absolutely, we’re in it to win it.”